1.5 Acre Site To Be Transformed Into Much-Needed Purpose-Built Rental Housing
VICTORIA – A 1.5 acre site in Victoria’s Old Town will be revitalized with a development proposal to supply 274 purpose-built rental units – plans that will not only bring new life to the area but will also help ease the city’s low vacancy rate.
The new development located at 610-624 Herald Street and 611-635 Chatham Street will replace surface parking lots, a single-storey commercial building and a tire repair shop. With a rental vacancy rate of just 1.5 per cent, finding a place to rent in Victoria’s tight market remains a challenge for the 61 per cent of the population that rent.
“Victoria has a high percentage of people who rent yet the market has a serious shortage of purpose-built rental housing,” says Denciti Development Corp. Principal and 40-year veteran of the development industry, Garry Fawley.
“This project will add much-needed rental housing supply to the city. There is great opportunity in this area because of its unique location in historic Old Town and its proximity to downtown. We are pleased to be working with Nicola Wealth Real Estate on a project which will add to the vibrancy of the area.”
The units range from studios to 2-bedrooms and will be serviced by a number of amenities including a gym, media room, lounge, co-working area, and central outdoor courtyard with a pet-friendly space. All parking will be provided underground and neighbourhood-serving retail will front Herald Street, Government Street and Chatham Street.
Working with Denciti Development Corp., Nicola Wealth Real Estate acquired the Old Town properties in 2019 and 2020. A development permit application was submitted to the City of Victoria on September 25, 2020, with construction expected to begin late 2021.
“We are excited to continue our commitment to rental housing in Victoria in one of its most iconic neighbourhoods,” notes Josh Anderson, Director of Development at Nicola Wealth Real Estate.
“The scale of the project affords the opportunity to offer a unique set of indoor and outdoor amenities for the future residents; areas to foster community and connection with your neighbours, and at the same time, an opportunity to activate street fronts with interesting retailers and services, adding vibrancy to the area as a whole.”
Zoning is already in place with existing bylaws that allow for rental apartment or condominium use of 196,250 square feet.
Old Town took form during Victoria’s rise to prominence in the mid-19th century when it was an important port and commercial gateway that linked the Pacific Rim to the interior of British Columbia. Today, it is home to the oldest Chinatown in Canada and includes an eclectic mix of commercial and residential uses.