First phase in Harris Green overhaul is at car dealer site; 17- and 19-storey residential

The transformation of the Harris Green neighbourhood is officially underway with Starlight Developments submitting a rezoning application this week to the City of Victoria for the first phase of its Harris Green Village project.

The Toronto-based developer is hoping to rezone the first block of the project, 1045 Yates St., the current home of Harris Victoria Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram car dealership, to allow a mixed-use project.

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The plans for that block include purpose-built rental residential towers of 17 and 19 storeys with 510 suites, including 23 affordable units and commercial opportunities at grade.

It’s just the first step of a complete overhaul of the neighbourhood.

Starlight has over the past few years pieced together land parcels making up the entire 900-block and most of the 1000-block of Yates and View streets.

The intention is to tear down all of the existing commercial buildings to make way for the project that will include residential towers, more than 100,000 square feet of commercial buildings and green space.

The company controls 4.9 acres over two sites. It owns all of the 900-block, which is bordered by Yates, View, Quadra and Vancouver streets. It also owns the land under the Harris dealership that is bordered by Cook, Yates and View.

Late last year Starlight decided that rather than renovate a collection of older commercial buildings, it would be better to simply rebuild the entirety of the two blocks.

In total, Starlight envisages a project with 1,500 rental residential units in five towers ranging in height from 15 to 25 storeys, a large community plaza and green space.

Some of the commercial tenants affected include London Drugs, The Market on Yates, Frontrunners, Bin 4 Burger Lounge, Pizza Hut and Cobs Bread, many of which have supported the broad concept of the project.

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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