Carey, Regent and Menno Hall plan for more student housing at UBC

The two student residence building proposed by Carey will create 132 additional apartments and 263 beds.

Carey Theological College has offered students accommodation on the UBC campus for many decades. They, along with St. Andrew’s Hall, are listed on UBC’s approved options for campus housing. Carey and St. Andrew’s have, of course, also been concerned with their own students (Baptist and Presbyterian respectively).

Here is a June 16 statement from Carey about a planned new student residence building on the UBC campus. The proposal is for two buildings, a 4-storey mixed-use institutional and residential building and a 6-storey residential building to the east and south of the existing Carey Centre at 5920 Iona Drive. They hope to begin construction this summer.

It is followed by a statement from Regent College and a brief notice about the planned Menno Hall, both of which will also include accommodation for students.

Carey getting close

Carey Theological College, a Christian graduate school affiliated with the University of British Columbia (UBC), is nearing the final stages of securing a building permit for the first phase of its new student residence building project. The project will expand its ministry of providing a Christian student residence program for UBC young adults.

Previously announced in 2022, the project received a development permit from UBC earlier this year. It will consist of two phased buildings with a total of 132 additional apartments and 263 beds. The first phase will consist of 75 rooms and 104 beds.

The new student residence facility will offer modern and comfortable suites with full kitchens and laundry sets, as well as energy-efficient features that meet UBC’s strict environmental standards. The rooms will also be designed to maximise natural light, ventilation and space efficiency. The project aims to create one of UBC’s most desired student residences that will provide students with a safe and life-giving community experience.

The project will also support Carey’s student discipleship program, which invites residents to participate in various spiritual and social activities, such as bible studies, worship nights, retreats and the time-honoured ‘sock wars.’ The program seeks to foster a vibrant and thriving community for discipleship and personal growth.

These images of the location of proposed look of ‘Carey’s College Expansion Project’ are with the May 10 report on the UBC Campus and Community Planning site.

“We are excited that we are close to obtaining the building permit for the first phase of this project, which will enable us to start the construction phase and continue our 64-year ministry of serving UBC students with a supportive and fun Christian community,” said Dr. Colin Godwin, President of Carey Theological College. “We believe that this project will not only provide students with a place to live, but it will also help them to develop their faith and leadership potential.”

I spoke with Carey President Colin Godwin as the project began last February.

One of the students who has benefited from living in Carey’s residence is Joyce Ko, a second-year student in UBC’s Land and Food Systems program. She said: “My time at UBC would have been completely different if I did not have the opportunity to live in such an amazing place. Carey has been such a blessing in my life. It helped to smooth the transition from a private Christian high school, to a large secular university.”

The project has raised $7 million to date through generous donations from supporters who are passionate about theological education and student discipleship. This amount meets the equity requirement for the first phase of the project. Carey continues to invite donations as it raises additional funds to offset its mortgage and support its ministries. The construction is expected to begin in July, 2023 after receiving the building permit.

To learn more about the project or to make a donation, please visit

The UBC Community Campus and Planning site has several entries related to the process, including the most recent, May 10. I interviewed Carey President Colin Godwin and wrote an article early in the process.

Regent College plans

Regent College in the centre; parking lot to the right (south). Maps Data: Google Earth ©2023, Image Landsat / Copernicus

On June 5 Regent College announced a ‘parking lot rezoning project,’ which will include some student housing.

If you visit us on campus, you might notice a large sign on Regent’s lawn. This represents an important step in a lengthy process of planning, consultation and permitting aimed at the rezoning and sale of a section of Regent’s current property known as ‘Lot 3’ – essentially, the parking lot.

If successful, the result will be the sale of Lot 3 to Polygon Homes, a well-established and respected local developer.

President Jeff Greenman explained the project’s background.

Regent’s Board, faculty and administration have been thinking and praying about the best way to steward this property for a number of years. When Polygon approached us asking about our plans for the property, a careful discernment process led to the conclusion that selling Lot 3 was the best way to serve both our students and our neighbours here on the UBC campus.

This view from Regent College’s atrium will change.

Academic Dean Paul Spilsbury stressed that while this potential sale is still in its early stages:

It represents an exciting opportunity to establish the College’s stability for a generation. Our goal is to make a significant investment in the financial sustainability of our mission of equipping students for service in the church, the academy and the marketplace.

A focus on long-term initiatives such as growing our endowment will help ensure that Regent has the resources to serve our students at a very high level without passing on more of the costs to tuition payers.

Greenman echoed Spilsbury’s emphasis on the long-term impact of the potential property sale:

Regent is in a fortunate position: because we see the financial impact of this sale as an opportunity to thrive rather than a necessity to survive, we’ve been able to approach this process with a great deal of care and consideration. That has given us the freedom to approach the question of what to do with this under-utilized property in a way that is both fiscally responsible and deeply missional.

Jeff Greenman (left) and Paul Spilsbury are looking forward to working with Polygon.

It’s been exciting to engage with Polygon as they conceptualize this future development. They’ve been genuine partners in this process, and it’s been encouraging to see plans develop that reflect many of the Regent community’s values, such as the inclusion of public art, green space and outdoor areas where neighbours can gather in community.

Most excitingly, Regent will acquire two floors of housing in the new development that we will hold for the exclusive use of our students. We’ve heard again and again from students and applicants that the challenge of finding housing in Vancouver is one of the greatest barriers to studying at Regent. This plan is an important step in the right direction.

As the Lot 3 rezoning process continues, the Regent community shouldn’t expect to see immediate changes.

Menno Hall

Another project in the works looks very promising, though it has been moving slowly. It is located on the northeast corner of University Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall (north across the street from Regent College).

Kevin Hiebert, President of Pacific Centre for Discipleship Association, emailed me:

We are currently going through the rezoning process with the University Endowment Lands (UEL) for our application which is described at – the highlights of which are that we are proposing to build:

    • 86 rental apartments
    • 105 student dorm beds
    • multi-purpose institutional space to be used for lectures / sanctuary space / community functions.

The page describes how the PCDA is working with HyLand Properties, formerly known as MCC Legacy Trust, to collaborate on the development of the project.

Hiebert said they can’t say more while the UEL works through their change of land use process. The property is high profile and its proper use has been debated. However, it has long been church property (broadly speaking), having been home for decades to the Lutheran Campus Centre.

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