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New apartments snapped up

Nova's new 60-unit building nearly full

Dawn Ostrem
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 16/02) - One breath in a suffocating housing market has almost been used up.

As of last week Nova Apartments -- a 60-unit complex of one- and two-bedroom apartments -- was nearly full.

NNSL Photo

Nova Apartments property manager Karen Vinet stands outside the new complex renters can move into in March. - Dawn Ostrem/NNSL photo

"I'm down to maybe a couple one-bedroom units," said property manager Karen Vinet.

Construction on the building began last summer and applications are currently being accepted to move into the complex, located near Rat Lake, by March 1.

Nova Apartments -- owned by Nova Construction -- began accepting applications and at the end of November.

"A lot of (renters) are with the government and diamond mines, in the medical field and a few lawyers have inquired," Vinet said. "There have been a lot of professional people from all walks of life."

Rent for a one-bedroom unit runs about $1,050 per month. Two-bedroom units go for about $1,200 per month. Both include heat and water.

"We try to keep rent around the same as everyone else," Vinet said.

Mike Mrdjenovich, part-owner of Nova Construction, said the company also has plans to build an 80-unit complex in the Frame Lake area this year.

That project, along with other potential housing developments by Polar Developments, TC Enterprises and Urbco Inc., leads Mrdjenovich to believe the current housing crunch is easing.

Last fall the vacancy rate in the city was hovering just above zero.

"There are quite a few guys and if everyone is on board there will be less of a demand by the end of the summer," he said. "I think everybody is complaining too much."

Mrdjenovich added that, even though the housing availability issue may be disappearing, rent prices will likely remain stable.

"The cost of construction actually dictates rent," he explained.