In what Central Saanich is hoping will be the start of a rejuvenated commercial centre in the district, Starlight Developments broke ground Thursday for the next phase of the development of former nursery lands off Lochside Drive.
Shovels hit dirt for the construction of 235 purpose-built rental homes to be spread across a pair of six-storey buildings at 2515 Hackett Cres. The buildings will offer electric vehicle and e-bike charging stations, common roof-top decks, a gym, lounge, and courtyard.
“[We] are humbled to be able to play a role in the growth and expansion of Central Saanich,” said Josh Kaufman, head of development for Starlight. “We are committed to the development of first-class, complete communities that provide the best in amenities and services to those who will call Bella Vista home.”
The project, along with a six-storey condo building with 50 units and 14 neighbouring townhouses, was approved in February.
At the time, Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor said he hoped the two projects would help create the right environment for new commercial or mixed-use projects near the site, which sits just off the Pat Bay Highway near Mount Newton Cross Road.
The project, which is expected to meet 42 per cent of the district’s rental housing needs, will offer eight units of affordable housing and a single level of underground parking.
Tenants who do not rent a parking space will be given bus tickets, while Starlight will buy $5,000 worth of Modo Car Share memberships for tenants as well.
The developer will also provide $15,000 in pedestrian improvements in the area and include a pedestrian right-of-way to a neighbouring property.
The project is expected to take two years to complete. The district saw no rental buildings built between 1977 and 2013.
Bella Vista is the second phase of development on the Marigold lands, which had been home to a nursery for 53 years.
The first phase was a 38-unit condominium building in 2017.
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