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Office space and office development


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#1 Mike K.

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 09:18 AM

Rumour has it a tenant is already lined up for the office component of a proposed redevelopment at Blanshard and Chatham Streets. The office component is 100,000 sq ft (or something like that) and it might already be spoken for.

Anyone care to bring forward more info as to who/what is taking up that space right off the bat?

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July 15, 2014: [Mayor] Fortin told C-FAX's Bruce Williams that he expects the [Johnson Street Bridge] project to be completed "on time and on budget."


#2 Holden West

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 09:46 AM

Red Hot Video World Corporate Headquarters.

Seriously, I've heard this rumour too, but they're keeping quiet about it.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#3 Holden West

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 06:57 AM

Apparently, at the Planning Commission meeting last week the developer dropped a few hints--a tech company that works 24-7 and if you don't have a pony tail and sandals "you're not welcome".

I guess that's his awkward way of saying they're hipsters (eh, it's not 1992 anymore).

I wonder if it's a call centre? It just occured to me that West Corp. is always complaining about getting and retaining employees and having to bus them out to Saanich. Few other tech companies have regular round the clock operations.

Dammit, I bet that's it! What other company would be patient enough to wait three years for construction to be completed--their operation is already up and running.

In a way, that would suck because those aren't great jobs and hardly part of the university/business synergy that's talked about so often. Trained monkeys could do call centre work. It's not like IBM, Apple or Microsoft are setting up research facilities.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#4 G-Man

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 07:30 AM

But I would still rather have those jobs downtown than at Keating Cross Road.
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#5 Mike K.

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:08 AM

Laughlin mentioned that there are three companies looking at their buildings, two of which will require between 70,000 sq ft and 100,000 sq ft.

Good call on West, though. That's a really good guess for one of the firms. But I don't think they work 24/7, do they? They have longer hours but not 24/7.

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July 15, 2014: [Mayor] Fortin told C-FAX's Bruce Williams that he expects the [Johnson Street Bridge] project to be completed "on time and on budget."


#6 G-Man

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:32 AM

I think they are 24 hours actually...

Thay may be better able to keep employees if they were in a building near town rather than in the boonies
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#7 Holden West

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:37 AM

West Corp. is something like the 60th largest tech company I believe. And the Victoria operation has only one client right now doesn't it? A cell phone help line right?

Sounds like a lot of opportunity for expansion.

Still, it would be a little disappointing for The Well; Compucollege, Joe's Fitness and a call centre instead of UVic, the "Y" and high tech.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#8 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 12:49 PM

West is 24/7. Cingular (cell phones) is their main client, I think. They are trained to tell enquiring customers that they are "just north of Seattle" if asked their 10-20.
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#9 Jarrod

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:08 PM

^Yup, that's right..

I actually got a job there but turned it down. My cousin works out there...

#10 HOMBRE

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 08:44 PM

i'm on cingular sooo should i give it a ring and freak out cuz i know they are on keating cross road in saanichton haha

#11 valdez12

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 12:37 PM

Rumour has it a tenant is already lined up for the office component of a proposed redevelopment at Blanshard and Chatham Streets. The office component is 100,000 sq ft (or something like that) and it might already be spoken for.

Anyone care to bring forward more info as to who/what is taking up that space right off the bat?


A few years ago, I heard BC Ferries was looking for a new HQ as their Fort street one was a little dated and too small. They needed something like 60,000 sq.ft. but in light of all the fare hikes and surcharges and other controversies, it may not be wise for a crown corporation to lavish on a new HQ.
So that one's a long shot.

Speaking of large office users, Victoria sufffers from a lack of HQs located here for highrises. For example, when Coast capital merged with the mainland credit unions, we lost the chance for a local bank/credit union to throw up a big tower one day. At least we got Money Mart Canada on the Selkirk Waterfront with a 4-ish storey building...

#12 Mike K.

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 01:52 PM

Private university eyes downtown office space

By Brennan Clarke
Victoria News
Dec 15 2006

Fledgling University Canada West has inked a lease deal that will see the privately run institution move into 30,000 feet of office space in a yet-to-be-built downtown development.

The two-year-old school, currently located in the former Blanshard elementary school, will move into Radius, a mixed-use office and residential complex planned for the city block immediately north of the historic Hudson Bay building on Douglas Street.

“In a way we’re a victim of our own success,” said UCW president David Strong.

“We looked at the funds to do some decent landscaping here, to do things with this building, maybe expand it or add another building, and the costs are so outrageous it just wasn’t feasible.”

Strong, former University of Victoria chancellor, said the new location will have about 10,000 more square feet of space than the Blanshard site and “hopefully some space to expand.”

The lease agreement, which doesn’t take effect until the spring of 2009, will allow developer Principle Holdings to tailor the space to the school’s needs, he added.

In 2004, UCW signed a 99-year lease agreement with School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria), which owns the site.

The school paid a $1.9 million lump sum for the space, along with yearly installments totalling more than $2.5 million over the first 10 years.

Strong said the deal required UCW to lease the site until at least January, 2008.

“We can back out at any time after that so it’s not a problem,” he said.

The school offers a range of undergraduate programs, along with a Masters of Business Administration degree. The first six MBA students graduated this fall.

Strong said the original concept of the school was to cater primarily to international students, but government officials who heard of his plans approached him about providing spaces for university qualified high school graduates unable to gain admission to publicly funded universities.

The school is aiming for a 50-50 split between foreign and domestic students by the end of its first five years. Right now about 80 per cent are domestic students.

Formerly known as The Well, Radius will include 84 residential units, 17,000 square metres of office space, 300 underground parking spaces, a pub, a fitness facility and a daycare.

The project will cover about two-thirds of the city block bordered by Blanshard, Douglas, Caledonia and Herald streets.

When the proposal came before council in July, some councillors expressed concern over a proposed 60 per cent increase in allowable density. It’s one of several recent proposals that have highlighted the city’s piecemeal approach to granting extra density in return for public amenities. However, none of the buildings proposed for Radius exceed the city’s 43-metre height limit.

Maggie Kerr-Southin of Artemis Public Relations and Design, the company handling publicity for Radius, said the project is expected to go to public hearing early in the new year.

Construction is slated to start in the spring, providing the proposal receives council’s approval, she added.

© Copyright 2006 Victoria News

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July 15, 2014: [Mayor] Fortin told C-FAX's Bruce Williams that he expects the [Johnson Street Bridge] project to be completed "on time and on budget."


#13 G-Man

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 02:04 PM

Well that is bad news for Quadra Village but great news for SoBa (South of Bay, I will continually try different acronyms till one works. So far tried NoCa, NoTo both unsuccessful)

Perhaps if they need to expand they can build something on the parking lot across the street. Or on the Korean BBQ Car Sales Scuba Lot. Anyways this is great news. This is one slice of humanity that Victoria has been missing and it also creates an instant vibe for this neighbourhood.
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#14 Holden West

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 02:25 PM

Since UVic said no way Jose, this is probably the next best thing. And Canada West University of the West or whatever it's called could use the prestige of a site like that. Slumming in an abandoned elementary school just doesn't cut it for a grown-up university.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#15 Mike K.

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 02:31 PM

Their Blanshard digs do them no favours, no doubt about it.

As far as expansion goes wouldn't it be cool if their classes were located throughout different office buildings? It'd be a campus of sorts as per any other university with students walk every which way between their classes. :smt024

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July 15, 2014: [Mayor] Fortin told C-FAX's Bruce Williams that he expects the [Johnson Street Bridge] project to be completed "on time and on budget."


#16 Holden West

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 02:41 PM

^I think they've found universities that are integrated within a city are more "dynamic" than those perched on mountains or in forested suburbs, isolated from the creative idea factories that are the streets of downtown.

[url=http://www.inf.ed.ac.uk/building/application/urbandesign.html:ca7e8]University of Edinburgh[/url:ca7e8] is an old university that is inextricably enmeshed with downtown.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#17 Number Six

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 03:01 PM

Durham University is another excellent example. The castle is used for student accommodation ... and when the students are away the rooms are rented out to travellers (like me!).

http://www.dur.ac.uk/map/

#18 gumgum

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 03:33 PM

^Love Durham. Beautiful town.
Ottawa of course has the University of Ottawa dowtown.
When it was firt built of course it was in the outskirts, ourside of D/T, now the population within the campus has essentially created a bridge of higher density development between the two points.
And when I say "bridge", I say litterally and figuratively. Check out this footbridge recently completed between the U of O and the office hub of D/T:


#19 G-Man

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 03:36 PM

What about NYU or U of T not only are these Uni's integrated into the city but they have made the areas around them more dynamic and vibrant.
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#20 gumgum

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 03:37 PM

As far as expansion goes wouldn't it be cool if their classes were located throughout different office buildings? It'd be a campus of sorts as per any other university with students walk every which way between their classes.

Concordia in Montreal is just like that. The campus is spread everywhere throughout d/t, in different buildings.

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