MARCH 2024 CAPITAL REGION COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE REPORT

A rendering of an approved redevelopment concept for Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn & Suites on Lochside Drive opposite Tulista Park. 97 homes will replace the motel just south of Sidney’s commercial core. © GMC Projects

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By Mike Kozakowski of Citified.ca

ESQUIMALT
Developer GMC Projects will be back before Esquimalt council on April 8th to present a vision for the 900-block of Esquimalt Road at Carlton Terrace for the redevelopment of two aged buildings on Esquimalt Road at Head Street. Plans are for condominiums in a 26-storey tower, and rental residences in an eight-storey building, with both sharing a commercial ground floor. The project will deliver over 270 homes, a public dog park, and significant public realm improvements along its frontages. In early March at a meeting where the applicant made a presentation to council in pursuit of approvals for variances (no rezoning is required for the project), council asked staff for more information on the developer’s $4 million amenity contribution and public space improvements, which include a $1 million affordability component, relative to contributions received in other BC municipalities for similar concepts. Council also asked for additional input from the applicant on design and architectural presence. Learn more on this proposal here

SIDNEY
Sidney council has approved a redevelopment pitch for the Cedarwood Inn & Suites at 9522 Lochside Drive that will repurpose the largest contiguous parcel of land in south Sidney from transient lodging to ocean view housing. Envisioned on more than three acres across from Sidney’s waterfront Tulista Park, developer GMC Projects with architectural firm Ekistics Architecture have proposed a 97-unit mixed-use condominium, townhome and light commercial project immediately south of Sidney’s town core. As part of a Zoning Amendment and Development Permit application that got underway in 2020, GMC Projects’ plans include a three-storey massing for a 49-unit condominium building on Lochside Drive at Weiler Avenue, with a small cafe or eatery component overlooking the intersection, and residential units in one-bedroom through three-bedroom plus-den configurations. A collection of 48 two-and-a-half-storey, two and three-bedroom family-oriented townhomes are planned for the west and largest portion of the property, along Weiler Avenue, most of which will enjoy ocean views. Read more here

SOOKE
The District of Sooke’s rapid population growth has far outpaced road capacity not only to and from Victoria’s West Shore, but also within the District, particularly throughout the town centre. The race is now on to complete a series of small-scale improvements planned by Sooke, and to learn of improvements envisioned by the Province for Highway 14/Sooke Road. On April 8th the Province’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure plans to outline what it considers near-term, medium-term and long-term investment goals for Highway 14 at a Sooke council meeting. The provincially-maintained, mostly two-lane thoroughfare linking Sooke with Langford at its eastern terminus (known as Sooke Road), and extending westward from Sooke to Port Renfrew via Shirley and Jordan River (known as West Coast Road), is severely under-capacity along the Sooke Road portion. Read more here

Several months following its completion, a BC Housing-backed affordable rental development sitting vacant in Sooke’s town core is now marketing homes to prospective tenants. The 170-unit one, two and three-bedroom project (with a small component of suites at shelter-rates) was completed in late 2023 as a duo of five-storey complexes at 2075 Drennan Street and Sooke Road. However, the much needed homes have remained empty all throughout winter and now into spring of 2024. The vacancy status amid intense housing demand on southern Vancouver Island led to speculation among residents of Sooke, with talk of ‘cost pressures’ impacting the lease-up phase, although no clear details have been available through BC Housing, via the District of Sooke or from building operator M’Akola Housing Society. Read more here

VICTORIA
Downtown Victoria’s YMCA property between Broughton and Courtney streets at Quadra Street is in-store for major redevelopment that may include a 26-storey condominium tower and an 11-storey rental block.  Concert Properties has submitted a pre-application package to inform a meeting hosted by the Community Association Land Use Committee (CALUC), whose purpose is to solicit feedback from the community before a rezoning application is submitted. (This is a requirement by the City, as described here.) Vancouver-based developer and YMCA property owner Concert Properties with architectural firm DYS Architecture have unveiled a vision for the half-acre site (at 851 Broughton Street) opposite Christ Church Cathedral, that if approved, would deliver over 200 condominiums within a highrise tower above a four-storey podium fronting Courtney Street, and 150 rental suites in a mid-rise also above a four-storey podium along Quadra Street at Broughton Street. Concert states, in a letter prepared for council, that “our proposal aligns seamlessly with the City’s planning guidelines and housing objectives, demonstrating sensitivity to crucial heritage landmarks, and injecting new vitality into this significant City location.” Read more here

Mike Kozakowski is with Citified Media and can be reached at mailto:[email protected]

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

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