The landscape around Victoria General Hospital will take another step closer to a major change today as Omicron, the developers behind the Eagle Creek Village development, expect to apply to View Royal for their development permit.
It’s the latest move in establishing the $100-million, mixed-use development at Helmcken Road and Watkiss Way.
Omicron is already well ahead of the game in terms of leasing out its 112,000 square feet of retail space as it has signed a number of major tenants.
“We’re at about 80 per cent pre-leased on the commercial side,” said Peter Laughlin, Omicron’s Vancouver Island director. “We’re ecstatic about that.”
Island-based grocer Quality Foods has already confirmed as a major tenant, but Omicron has since signed up Shoppers Drug Mart, Tim Hortons and Cascadia Liquor.
This weekend, Omicron will launch an office with commercial real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield to deal with leasing the planned 69,000 square feet of medical and professional offices.
Laughlin admits that space will expect a much slower absorption rate, but he notes they have two years to build and fill it.
“Everything is going well with View Royal, and we are all aboard for breaking ground in the first or second week of April,” he said. The company is already casting around for trades to take on various construction jobs.
Laughlin expects the company will get its development permit from View Royal in March.
“The goal is to have the first phase ready for tenant improvements by mid-December 2014,” he said.
Included in that first phase is the commercial space, the office space and 57 residential rental units.
Laughlin said those are being designed as a high-quality units for young professionals, more transient medical professionals and seniors.
“A rental space shouldn’t be something people want to get out of, it should be somewhere they can stay — purchasing doesn’t always work for everyone,” he said.
The next phase will include 100 condominiums, which he expects they will break ground on within the next 12 months.
“We feel very strongly the market is there,” Laughlin said, noting they are taking a similar approach to Eagle Creek as they did with their Coho residential development in View Royal. “Typically, people on the Island are loathe to pre-purchase.
“And we see this being a trend, in Victoria you build it and let people come and touch it and kick the cabinets and they will buy it,” he said.
Laughlin also hinted Omicron may be ready to announce a new development for the Peninsula in the coming weeks.
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