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May 6, 2016: This is a very important update – with very good news!  BC Housing (BCH) has formally approved our application for financing.  

We have been in deep discussion/negotiation with BCH staff for 6 months now – going back and forth with a fine tooth comb, making sure our “math works”, and it does!  Our application went before their Executive Committee  and was approved.  We knew we were on track for approval, but it is always a relief when the “plan comes together”.  There is still paperwork to finalize and contracts to sign, but we can now move full steam ahead, knowing that the financing piece of this “redevelopment puzzle” in firmly in place!

 Here’s a couple of points to note about the BCH financing.

      The first round of financing that BCH has approved is called Pre-Development Funding (PDF).  We will use it to pay for the pre-development and pre-construction work (AKA the Design & Approvals phase) at all three congregational sites.  (The next round of financing will be in the form of a construction loan – to pay for construction! – which will ultimately be converted into a take out mortgage).


But wait – there’s more good news!


Because we had confidence in our application, we went ahead and ran a competition to hire the Architect.  We are pleased to announce that VIA Architecture will be the Project Architect for all three sites.  Each of you – Brechin, Como Lake and Brighouse –will have your own Architect, but all three Architects are from VIA.  This approach creates efficiencies and synergies, while at the same time it ensures that each congregational site gets direct and focused attention.   


The VIA team includes:

·        Charlene Kovacs – Director in Charge

·        Peg MacDonald – 3-Site Project Manager and Architect for Como Lake United/Coquitlam

·        Maranatha Coulas – Architect for Brechin United/Nanaimo

·        Sean Ruthen – Architect for Brighouse United/Richmond.


We’ve also grown the Development Management team, which now includes:

·        Justen Harcourt – Senior Development Manager

·        Jane Koh/Russell Cleere – Project Manager

·        Karly Morgan (Policy/Project Administration)

·        Alex Wright (Financials/Project Administration)

·        Terry Harrison (Process Management & Congregational Liaison)


The Development Management crew and VIA had our kick-off meeting this morning, with all but Sean and Alex present (action shots attached, to show us at work for you!)

 I will be in touch with each of the congregational teams individually to propose dates for our first Design Consultation session, at which time you will meet your Architect and we will begin our design work together.   

  Blessings to you’all!

 Terry Harrison, MTS
Property Resource Team Lead

for BC Conference of The United Church of Canada