Cook Street Village condo project moving forward

A proposed condo development in Cook Street Village that was rejected by Victoria council last year is moving forward after a public hearing.

Aragon Properties plans to demolish the former Pic-A-Flic Video store, two houses and a duplex at Cook and Pendergast streets to build a four-storey condo with businesses on the first floor and 48 units in a range of one-, two- and three-bedroom suites.

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On Thursday night, councillors voted 5-3 to move forward with the project.

Council rejected the project last year in a 4-4 tie, following a public hearing and a discussion about the best way to solve the city’s housing crisis.

It later reconsidered the ­decision and directed staff to work with the ­developer to address housing affordability.

The developer said it could not add affordable housing without third-party funding or increasing density, but pledged to contribute about $160,000 to the city’s affordable housing fund and about $50,000 for a van to support to Beacon Community Services’s youth shelter.

Aragon also offered the city a $150,000 discount to purchase a unit next to the Cook Street Activity ­Centre to expand.

Luke Ramsay, development manager for Aragon ­Properties, said the company is excited to move forward after more than three years since its first ­application. “We know it was contentious and we just appreciate that some councillors saw that it was a good project and it brought a lot of really interesting things,” Ramsay said.

Construction is expected to begin next year and complete about 2024, Ramsay said.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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