Capitol Iron Lands Redevelopment Unveiled

September 23, 2021

A rendering of UVic Properties’ and Chard Development’s 135-room hotel envisioned for the 1300-block of Broad Street in downtown Victoria’s Old Town. The $50-plus million investment is viewed by downtown Victoria’s business community as a catalyst for post-pandemic economic resilience. The project is headed for public hearing on September 23. © UVic Properties / Chard Development

A culmination of over four years of construction at Esquimalt’s landmark Esquimalt Town Square community will coincide with the grand opening of Gallery Splash, a new arts initiative from Esquimalt’s Township Community Arts Council.
The four-building mixed-use condominium, rental suite, retail and office project from developer Aragon Properties has completed in phases adjacent to Esquimalt’s town hall along the 1200-block of Esquimalt Road, and its emerging role as a cultural hub will be on full display this fall as the final piece of Esquimalt Town Square (ETS) is unveiled as ‘The Mill.’
With construction starting in 2017, completion of ETS began in 2020 with its two six-storey condominiums (The Douglas with 36-homes and The Arbutus with 32-homes, now 75 per cent sold-out) on Carlisle Avenue at Park Place, followed by The Spruce in early 2021, a 36-suite, six-storey (fully leased) apartment fronting Esquimalt Road and Park Place. The Mill, a five-storey cross-laminated timber building with 50,000 square foot office and commercial space (fronting Park Place and soon to be home to a new library) is undergoing its final touches ahead of Gallery Splash’s and Greater Victoria Public Library’s openings.

Residents of the burgeoning Happy Valley corridor may soon have a commercial centre with a restaurant, multiple commercial units and a childcare facility.
Proponent Karen Colangeli has applied to rezone 3553 and 3559 Happy Valley Road from agricultural to commercial zoning in order to permit a 21,000 square foot, four-building development described as targeting “liquor store, butcher, grocer, pharmacy, post office, veterinary clinic, library, daycare, and fitness centre” uses, plus a standalone restaurant.
The project is planned to rise at the southeast corner of the Happy Valley Road and Latoria Road intersection near the Metchosin-Langford border. Presently the two properties are residential in nature, with a single-family-dwelling situated on each parcel.

A plan to contribute over $50 million to the construction of downtown Victoria’s first hotel property in nearly 20-years could deliver an economic impact widely viewed as a strategic catalyst for the Capital’s post-pandemic resurgence.
Proposed for the 1300-block of Broad Street by UVic Properties and Chard Development is a 135-room complex that will rehabilitate key and visible heritage-defining elements of the 1892-built Duck’s Building, plus add two subordinate albeit complementary structures to the north and south. Additionally, a rubble stone wall dating to 1872 at the rear of the Duck’s Building in what is known as Duck’s Alley will be day-lighted and rehabilitated.
Despite the urgency to kick-start Victoria’s economy on all fronts, before work can begin Victoria council must review the project as part of a September 23 public hearing. Elected officials have intimated since the start of the pandemic a desire to back economic drivers to reignite the city centre as a dominant business and tourism hub for the region.

Four retail spaces along the 1000-block of Fort Street could be making way for a purpose-built rental complex with ground floor commercial units.
Jawl Properties has applied for a rezoning and development permit application for 1030-1036 Fort Street – currently home to retailers that include a Sally Bun eatery and clothier Not Just Pretty – to erect a six-storey building with 30 residential units and modern retail spaces at-grade.
As part of an application package supplied to the City of Victoria, architect Cascadia Architects describes the proposal as “contextually appropriate” for the site and “complementary to the city fabric in which it is situated.”

Reliance Properties has unveiled its vision for the Capital Iron Lands, a seven-acre redevelopment plan centred on Store Street at Chatham Street. The proposal includes multiple buildings with heights up to 17-storeys and land uses that include residential, commercial, office and light industrial. A rezoning application now before the City.

A 48-unit apartment complex built last fall on upper Johnson Street has mysteriously remained empty despite the Capital’s ultra-tight rental vacancy rate, but that’s about to change.
Victoria-based Itziar Properties has begun listing one and two-bedroom suites at The Row, a six-storey woodframed project developed by Victoria-based builder-developer Kang & Gill on Johnson at Chambers streets in Fernwood.
The move puts many months of speculation to rest as onlookers and industry insiders-alike mused over The Row’s potential as a student housing residence, a social housing investment from the province, a short-term rental, market rentals or a condominium release.

Mike Kozakowski is with Citified Media and can be reached at




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