Insurance firm to be commercial anchor in View Royal project

Coast Capital Insurance Services is consolidating its head office in the $100-million Eagle Creek Village development in View Royal.

The retail insurance firm, bought last year by Western Financial Group, will be the lead office tenant, leasing 15,300 square feet in the mixed-use project at Helmcken Road and Watkiss Way.

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Coast Capital Insurance’s second-floor head office will have 62 staff members and up to eight staff will work in its ground floor retail space, Mark Dutton, president of Coast Capital Insurance Services, said Tuesday.

Eagle Creek is an “emerging gateway” to the region and a central site for the company’s employees, he said.

One of the region’s largest mixed-use developments, the site near Victoria General Hospital creates a new commercial core. View Royal Mayor Graham Hill said the development “represents jobs, it represents investment, it represents the best that could happen for the hospital precinct.”

Heavy equipment is rumbling through the previously undeveloped site where 85 per cent of approximately 100,000 square feet of planned retail space is spoken for. About 30 per cent of the 76,000 square feet of office space has been leased. As well, 60 rental units will be built as part of the first phase of the project.

“So far, we have had great reception to this project,” said Bill Tucker, chief executive officer of Omicron, the developer. Omicron is working with Blackwood Partners, which represents investment from a consortium of Canadian pension funds.

Interest in Eagle Creek space exceeded forecasts, he said.

Tenants are expected to start opening their doors in late 2015 and early 2016. Confirmed tenants include Quality Foods, the YMCA, Forbes Pharmacy, Tim Hortons and Bosley’s Pet Food.

Area residents have said they would like a pub-restaurant to go in the space, said Omicron development manager Jessica Ng. Talks have taken place with some interested parties, but nothing has been nailed down yet.

She has received interest in the residential rental units, where 75 per cent will be two-bedroom apartments and the remainder one-bedroom. Sizes range from 625 square feet to about 900 square feet. Rates have not been set.

More residential is planned for the second phase of the development when 100 mid-range condominiums will be built. Omicron is preparing to submit a subdivision plan and development permit application to the municipality, Tucker said. Work on the condos is expected to start in 2015.

The $100-million project price tag covers both phases of development. Between 60 to 70 workers are on the site daily.

When tenants start making improvements to their spaces, close to 400 workers could be on the job, Tucker said.

View Royal is receiving $1 million in amenities, plus 3.9 acres of land next to the development as parkland.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

This is a corrected version of an earlier story

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