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Plans for Esquimalt Road mixed-use building to go to public hearing

Project at 480 and 492 Esquimalt Rd.
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Artist's rendering of proposed development at 480 and 492 Esquimalt Rd., looking north from Esquimalt Road. VIA ARYZE DEVELOPMENTS

Victoria council has agreed to let the public weigh in on plans for a rental building atop three commercial/industrial units on Esquimalt Road, as long as the proponent agrees to set aside a certain amount of commercial space for light-industrial use.

Colliers International’s most recent industrial report showed both the region and the city have the lowest industrial vacancy rate in the country — 0.1 per cent — with no new supply in the pipeline for the city.

About 639,000 square feet of industrial space is being created in the region, but most of that is on the West Shore or the Saanich Peninsula, where a 115,000-square-foot Amazon warehouse is under construction.

The amount of light-industrial space in the mixed-use project at 480 and 492 Esquimalt Rd. in Vic West is to be determined in collaboration with proponent Aryze Development.

Plans call for a six-storey project over two separate buildings with 85 units of rental housing on what is currently a large parking lot.

The proposal has undergone an overhaul since it was introduced last spring in response to local residents’ concerns about the size, the shadow it would create and the lack of parking on site.

Aryze said it has added more underground parking and transportation amenities like parking for a vehicle-sharing service.

To deal with shading concerns, the original design was split into two thinner structures that run north to south with an 18-metre gap between them to allow sunlight to pass through.

The building will have 25 studio apartments, 30 one-bedroom units and 30 two-bedroom units with 62 parking stalls and short and long-term bike parking. There is also 13,000 square feet of commercial space at grade.

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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