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International student hotel to be built near Langara

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Toby Chu, president and CEO of CIBT Education Group, discusses plans for international student hotels in Richmond and near Langara. Photo by Leslie Kam
Toby Chu, president and CEO of CIBT Education Group, discusses plans for international student hotels in Richmond and near Langara College. Photo by Leslie Kam

Two international student hotels could be coming to the lower mainland – one near Langara and one in Richmond.

CIBT Education Group Inc. is planning a $48-million housing project to establish a hotel on Cambie Street and 50th Avenue, and one on Capstan Way, Richmond.

The hotel near Langara is expected to accommodate 234 students from September to June, while the Richmond hotel will house 124 students.

Affordable housing for international students

Rental prices will be consistent with the homestay rate in Vancouver once the project is completed in the next 24 to 30 months, said Toby Chu, CEO of CIBT.

“We are looking at between $850, one room, to about $950, depending on the market at that time,” Chu said.

A two-bedroom Vancouver apartment averages $1,281 in monthly rent, and the vacancy rate is dropping, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Number of international students to increase

In 2012, B.C. housed more than 68,000 international students, which was nearly 26 per cent of Canada’s total foreign student population.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has proposed to increase the foreign student population from 265,000 to 450,000 by 2022. Chu wants to capitalize on that demand.

“Homestay is becoming more and more complex in terms of pricing, proximity to SkyTrain stations, security and safety,” said Chu.

“Our background [has] always been education, so that’s why we know the sentiment of the schools and the market demands,” Chu said.

CIBT hopes to build more hotels along the SkyTrain to accommodate as many as 1,400 foreign students.

Reported by Leslie Kam

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