New development would straddle Colwood and Langford

A sloping undeveloped chunk of land covered with blackberry vines is set to become a major mixed-use development straddling Colwood and Langford.

Plans call for more than 500 multi-family units in Langford, about 60 units in a residential building in Colwood, commercial space, and offices on 9.34 acres in the 700 block of Meaford Avenue and along Veterans Memorial Parkway.

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Rezoning would allow for residential and mixed-use residential buildings of between six and 12 storeys, said Niall Paltiel, a consultant with Keycorp Developments. 

The Langford portion of the property covers 7.8 acres, while the adjacent Colwood parcel is 0.88 of an acre, he said Monday.

This is the second major local project in the works for Starlight Investments.

The Toronto-based company is also planning to build a mixed-use project in the 900 and 1000 blocks of Yates and View streets with residential towers, more than 100,000 square feet of commercial building and green space.

Rezoning would allow Colwood and Langford to “realize the vision of both communities’ Official Community Plans in creating a significant amount of housing, commercial, and retail use on this prominent corner in a key arterial transportation corridor,” Paltiel said. Medical offices, a wellness centre and an automotive dealership are being considered, he said.

Plans call for $1-million-plus in community-amenity contributions for Langford and more than $90,000 for Colwood. Starlight would be responsible for rainwater management, drainage and wetland enhancements, plus traffic and sidewalk upgrading along Meaford Avenue, he said.

Construction costs and detailed drawings are not yet available, Paltiel said.

Langford Mayor Stew Young said he is pleased to see the application for the site, which is in Langford’s downtown economic development district. “We are just glad to see something going there in our downtown core that’s been sitting there overgrown and more of a hazard than it is a benefit to Langford.”

The property is one of last development sites in the downtown area, Young said. “This is probably one of our largest economic opportunities within a block of our downtown core.”

Starlight is seeking employment centre zoning, which is aimed at providing jobs in the long-term, said Young, who estimates that between 300 and 400 jobs would be provided on the site after construction is finished.

Mixing commercial uses and offices on the lower level with residential above allows people to walk to their work, he said.

The commercial uses also result in a higher tax rate than residential use alone, which helps pay for improvements in the municipality, he said.

Colwood Mayor Rob Martin welcomes plans for a residential building on the portion of the site within that municipality. “We are excited to see an opportunity to actually utilize those lands.”

Residents have been asking for more commercial options in Colwood and the project is convenient for them, he said.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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