The redevelopment of the Scott Building is expected to start in May.
The three-storey building at the corner of Douglas Street and Hillside Avenue will get an addition and a new six-storey residential rental building will rise in the adjoining parking lot to the east.
Andrew Rennison of Primex Investments said in total the project will deliver 151 new rental homes; 17,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space will remain in the heritage building.
Rennison said the project will start with structural and seismic upgrades to the building, which was built in 1912. “If all goes well, we expect to be welcoming residents sometime in 2023,” he said.
A development permit was issued by Victoria city council last August, and the proposal has the blessing of the Burnside Gorge Community Association, which said the redevelopment fits with local area plans for a large urban village and amenities at the Douglas-Hillside corner.
Architect Michael Green said the Scott Building will see modern extensions to the east and south. The centre of the upper two storeys of the building will be removed to create a U-configuration, permitting daylight to new apartments and wrapping an elevated courtyard at the second level.
“A discrete fourth level, mostly concealed behind the parapet of the existing building, will be added to provide additional rental apartments,” he said.
The new six-storey wood frame structure to the east of the Scott Building will be separated from the existing building in order for the heritage component of the project to be a visual focus from the surrounding streets.
The two buildings will frame a green central plaza, creating a pedestrian experience while allowing for intermittent vehicular access and short-term parking stalls. The central plaza will be accessible to the public and is intended to be enjoyed by both residents and visitors.
One and a half levels of underground parking will fill the east side of the site under the new building and plaza. The upper portion of the underground parkade will be allocated to commercial/retail staff, customers, and residential visitors. Beyond the staff and visitor parking, gated secured parking will be provided to building residents.
Meanwhile, the last commercial tenant in the Scott Building has announced it is moving to a new location.
Scott Elias of Luxe Home Interiors said the furniture retailer is moving to 564 Yates St. at the end of April.
“After 24 years in the historic Scott Building it is time to move on and make room for the exciting redevelopment of the building and property that will play a vital role in the transformation of the mid-town district,” said Elias.
Luxe will make its new home in a 160-year-old, 5,000-square-foot heritage building in the lower Yates shopping district between Government and Wharf streets.
He said only Luxe’s location is changing. Ownership, management and the staff remains the same.