Wellburn’s site redevelopment plan to be unveiled

North Park residents will get their first look on Wednesday at a redevelopment proposal for the historic Wellburn’s Market building at Pandora and Cook.

Vancouver-based District Developments Corp. will present its plans Wednesday to the North Park Neighbourhood Association for an 84-unit, six-storey, residential rental building on the lot.

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The proposal calls for retail and commercial spaces on the first two levels facing the street with rental residential above. Parking is to be provided for 49 vehicles.

Designed by Michael Green Architecture, the concept, will see both the existing building site and the adjacent parking lot redeveloped. Plans call for restoration of the 107-year old building’s facade.

The heritage-registered building, at 1050-1058 Pandora Ave., was constructed in 1911 as a mixed-use commercial and residential building — apartments over ground-floor retail — a use that has survived more than a century.

The L-shaped building was constructed as shops and an apartment complex for Victoria businessman David R. Ker, according to Victoria Heritage Foundation documents.

The residential floor is known as Parkway Apartments.

Matthew Wellburn, a grocer, moved to the premises in 1914 — a location where two previous grocers had failed, according to the foundation.

Most of the ground-floor commercial space is now occupied by Wellburn’s. There is also a barber shop fronting onto Cook Street. There are rental apartments above.

Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday, council liaison for North Park, who plans to attend the information session, says he hasn’t seen the proposal, but that there is considerable neighbourhood interest in it.

“I’m definitely hearing from neighbours who have interest in the project,” he said.

While loss of a grocer would usually be a major worry, Save-on-Foods is to be the major commercial anchor just down the block at the former St. Andrew’s Elementary School at 1002-1008, 1012 Pandora Ave. in the new development from Blue Sky Properties, a Robert Bosa company. That six-storey rental apartment building is scheduled to open late this year or early 2019.

Meanwhile, North Park residents will also learn about a development proposal for 919 and 923 Caledonia Ave. The concept by Novus Properties is to relocate and restore a heritage house and build a four-storey 19-unit multi-family building.

The proposals will be discussed at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre community room at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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