March 4, 2024

A rendering of Central Block, a 99-suite condominium under construction at 1075 Tillicum Road in Esquimalt, opposite Esquimalt Gorge Park along the Gorge Waterway. The project is 50% sold-out, with a second phase of sales starting soon, according to developer Abstract. © Abstract Developments

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By Mike Kozakowski of Citified.ca

Starlight Developments
is seeking approvals for 143 units of rental housing along the 7800-block of Lochside Drive at Mount Newton Cross Road in Central Saanich’s Saanichton area. The proposal calls for developing excess land at 7840 Lochside Drive and 2530 Mount Newton Cross Road, where Starlight owns and operates 126 apartments in a duo of three-storey buildings. In a six-storey massing, Starlight has proposed a 131-unit rental block on present-day surface parking at the rear of 7840 Lochside Drive, overlooking Highway 17. An underground parkade would service the new-build, comprised of studio through three-bedroom layouts. Along the Lochside Drive frontages of 7840 Lochside Drive and 2530 Mount Newton Cross Road, Starlight has envisioned 12 units of three-storey townhomes, along with an amenity building, and a commercial building at the northeast corner of the property adjacent to the Marigold Lands development. Read more here

A six-storey condominium project along Esquimalt’s Gorge Waterway is nearing its second phase of sales with 50% of homes now sold. Abstract Developments’ Central Block – coming in early 2026 to 1075 Tillicum Road opposite Esquimalt Gorge Park – is comprised of 99 residences in junior one-bedroom through three-bedroom layouts. Abstract’s first phase of pre-sales was one of the best-received condominium offerings of 2023 anywhere in the Capital Region, featuring landmark architecture, a commercial space at-grade, and up-market finishings the Abstract brand is known for. Read more here

North Saanich’s Sandown Park Shopping Centre will open its second phase of stores this summer to become the largest retail plaza on Victoria’s northern Saanich Peninsula. Already confirmed retailers of Sandown’s four-acre new-build addition along McDonald Park Road at Highway 17 in North Saanich – joining a nearly 49,000 square foot Canadian Tire opened in 2018 – are Red Barn Market, Dollarama, a Springs Group liquor store, a restaurant and a pharmacy. Of the roughly 47,000 square feet of upcoming retail space, 29,000 square feet has been leased by the aforementioned retailers, while another 7,350 square feet is either under contract or under offer (across five spaces), leaving four retail units available at around 11,000 square feet in total size. Read more here

Council has approved a 23-storey rental tower for 937 View Street in Harris Green, a parcel currently serving as a surface parking lot between View Towers at Quadra Street and a purpose-built rental block under construction at Vancouver Street. The 265-unit pet-friendly project from Vancouver-based Nelson Investments will be the first residential tower in downtown Victoria with no on-site parking, in alignment with Council’s goal of encouraging car-free residential buildings. All homes will be fully electrified with no natural gas connections in suites, and significant indoor and outdoor amenity spaces will be available to residents. Nelson anticipates construction to begin in 2025, with completion estimated for 2027. Read more here

A key piece of Old Town real-estate is envisioned for rental housing, commercial spaces and heritage restoration at a busy north downtown intersection. Proponent Nicola Wealth has unveiled a proposal for Government Street’s Victoria Transmission & Auto Care complex at 1885 Government Street, along with the adjacent 1908-built Sam Kee Laundry Building fronting Chatham Street. Nicola Wealth’s and architectural firm Cascadia Architects’ application encompasses a six-storey mid-rise with 79 apartment suites in studio through two-bedroom formats, plus 6,600 square feet of commercial space, and a single level of underground parking for 11 vehicles (plus bicycle stalls). Read more here

The City of Victoria’s Official Community Plan (OCP) review process has identified a need for 34,600 units of new housing to be constructed by 2050, if the City-proper intends to comply with provincial population growth projections, housing quotas and housing replacement targets. A staff report issued to council this week identifies the need for a net new addition of 26,600 units of housing to sustain a projected population growth in the municipality to 142,000 people by 2050, from approximately 92,000 residents counted in the 2021 census. An additional 8,000 units are needed to deal with “latent demand,” the City says. As to the forms of housing required, the report states that housing will need to be “diverse in both type and tenure to meet the needs of renters, families and households with a range of incomes.” More broadly speaking, the report cites an estimated regional population of 600,000 people “in the coming decades,” following a Provincial population growth estimate released last week. Read more here

Mike Kozakowski is with Citified Media and can be reached at mailto:mike@citifiedmedia.com

Copyright (C) 2023 by Citified Media Inc. Content under license to Business Examiner.


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