March 2023 Capital Region Commercial Real Estate Report

March 21, 2023

The 12-storey Victoria Press Apartments, at-right, has been proposed on what is currently a surface parking lot behind the former Times Colonist Building on Ross Lane at Kings Road. The old TC headquarters has been recently redeveloped into the Victoria Press Building, an office and commercial complex at 2621 Douglas Street. © Merchant House Capital | D’Ambrosio Architecture + Urbanism

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Abstract Developments has unveiled two curated pre-sale collections ahead of a construction launch for Central Block, the homebuilder’s newest condominium project coming soon to the Gorge Waterway.
Central Block’s 99 residential offerings saw a surge in buying activity into the Holiday Season, and as the perennially busy spring market nears, Abstract has unveiled a ‘Smart Collection’ of junior one-bedroom suites targeting first-time and investment purchasers, and a ‘Park View Collection,’ with one and two-bedroom homes overlooking the Gorge Waterway’s Esquimalt-Gorge and Saanich-Gorge parks. Homes are priced from $344,900.
Six-storey Central Block will get underway this spring at 1075 Tillicum Road and is targeted for occupancy in 2024.

Two single-family residential homes along Selkirk Avenue will be upcycled for two deserving families from the Songhees Nation, while making way for a five-storey condominium project known as The Sterling from TLA Developments.

The homes at 815 and 825 Selkirk Avenue were set to be demolished ahead of a construction start on the five-storey, 46-unit project. After consulting with representatives from the Songhees Nation, TLA opted for the homes the homes to be gifted to two Songhees Nation families via a lottery.


An upper Quadra Street condominium development is now underway with a sold-out status of 90 per cent.
Comprised of 77 suites, Abstract Developments’ Cadence project will rise to six-storeys along the 3800-block of Quadra Street at Palmer Road, adding modern high density living along a frequent transit corridor between McKenzie Avenue and downtown Victoria.
Construction crews are currently undertaking rock blasting activities in preparation for the building’s foundation work.


The 100-hectare Erinan Estates subdivision on the district’s west side will be expanding with over 250 residences and a nearly 20,000 square foot commercial centre, according to application documents.
If approved, a proposal for an additional phase of building at the West Coast Road community will introduce new land uses in the form of retail services and townhomes to the existing collection of 63 single-family-home lots (known as the Erinan Country Estates) that make up the project’s first phase at West Coast Road and Erinan Boulevard (just past Grant Road at West Coast Road/Highway 14).


A year’s-long effort of restoring and re-purposing the former Times Colonist Building at 2621 Douglas Street into a modern office and commercial complex has completed. And now, developer Merchant House Capital has unveiled plans for the final phase of construction that, if approved, will transform a surface parking lot at the rear of the property into rental residences and retail space.
Merchant House is seeking to rezone an undeveloped parcel on Kings Road at Ross Lane along the eastern frontage of the Victoria Press Building, formerly the Times Colonist Building. The scope of the project involves a 12-storey purpose-built rental tower (dubbed Victoria Press Apartments) rising to 45 meters, with 160 units ranging from studio to two-bedroom suites, plus a co-housing component.
A unique aspect to the proposal is its lack of parking for residents, despite containing a 120-stall underground parking garage. The proponent, as part of a document presented to the City, cites the lack of on-site parking for residential use as “[improving] the ecological fit of the project into the future urban context.” The parking will be available to commercial tenants of the Press Building.

Bosa Developments will continue the build-out of its Dockside Green project’s Tyee Road frontage with two residential towers.
The company has submitted plans seeking development permits for a duo of Vic West condominiums rising 16 and 19-storeys, with the shorter tower slated for 343 Tyee Road adjacent to Bosa’s nearly completed trio of 13-to-16-storey condominium and rental towers, and its 19-storey counterpart at 90 Esquimalt Road overlooking the intersection of Tyee and Esquimalt roads.
The combined unit total will deliver nearly 300-suites in studio, one, two and three-bedroom layouts. Underground parking will yield just under 370 stalls.

Council has rejected a property tax break application for heritage and seismic work at a North Park and Harris Green-bordered building currently in the process of being converted into rental residences and commercial spaces.
Primex Investments and partner Nicola Wealth were seeking a $1.6 million property tax holiday split over a ten year period for restorative efforts at their $33.3 million Parkway development at 1050-1058 Pandora Avenue, under the auspices of Victoria’s Tax Incentive Program (TIP).
However, due to the developer’s filing of the tax break application after work on the project had already begun, staff recommended for council to reject the application in order to not set a precedent contradictory to TIP’s stated goal of only granting tax exemptions prior to construction, and not retroactively.

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


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