A pair of 21-storey towers could be rising from what is now a parking lot in the 800 block of Yates and Johnson streets.
Provided the required development permit is approved by Victoria city council, it will be the largest project that Chard Development Ltd. has built in Victoria. It will be the Vancouver-based company’s seventh development here since 2006.
Chard Development purchased the site in the 800 block of Yates last May. Zoning is in place and the developer has applied to Victoria city hall for a development permit.
The aim is to start construction early 2018, said Byron Chard, chief financial and acquisitions officer.
Construction will take two years. Building costs have not been settled.
Plans call for three levels of underground parking for building residents, along with commercial parking with hourly and monthly rates. “Parking is becoming scarce in downtown Victoria,” Chard said.
Preliminary designs would see a two-level podium built, with the towers rising above it.
The podium would include bicycle storage, a gym and resident storage. About 6,000 square feet of commercial space will face Yates Street, Chard said.
“We are looking for an animated use as Yates is one of the hearts of downtown Victoria. And the Atrium [built by the Jawl family] has done a great job of revitalizing it and continuing to add to the community. We want to continue to do the same with our commercial as well.”
It is unlikely that the company will sell the commercial space, Chard said.
As for the lower-level on Johnson Street, “we are still trying to determine [uses] at this point,” Chard said.
The first tower, Yates on Yates, will be a 112-unit condominium development with one, two, and three-bedroom units.
“We are still working on the exact unit mix,” Chard said. “We are focusing on livable suites that have a comfortable square footage.”
The company expects to begin sales for the project in the spring. Prices have not been announced.
It is too soon to say what the second tower will hold, Chard said.
Chard Development is nearing completion of the 10-storey Escher building with 82 condos at 838 Broughton St. Residents will move in starting in March.
The company is also building a 209-unit purpose-built rental tower at 819 Yates St. It will be sold and operated by another company. Construction will wrap up on that building in spring 2018.
Urban lifestyles are “bringing people downtown, which is what we feel we are contributing to Victoria. We believe in the neighbourhood,” said Chard.