Duet condo in James Bay a different tune for downtown developer

Pictured is the landscaped common area between the two Duet buildings, with Victoria's tallest building (21-floor Orchard House) pictured in the background. Rendering © Chard Development.

After nearly a decade of building highrise residences throughout downtown Victoria, developer Dave Chard of Chard Development has embarked on a series of firsts with his latest endeavor, Duet.

The two-building, 90-unit, condo project to rise across the street from the City’s tallest tower, the 21-storey Orchard House, is comprised of two lowrises of eight (concrete) and four (woodframe) floors.  The low-rise nature of the buildings and the woodframe construction of the four-storey building are firsts for Chard whose typical projects are built of concrete and stand about a dozen floors above street level.

The decision to step out of the downtown core with Duet, yet another first, was in response to home buyers seeking modern residences in a more traditional neighbourhood setting and the opportunity to build housing attractive to young families.

“Given the market is relatively small in Victoria we’re having to build a variety of suite sizes with Duet to reach many different buyers. We are offering a location that is desirable for those who may be looking to downsize in James Bay, want to raise a family, or want to live in the city but not in the downtown core,” Chard said.

While families have bought into Chard’s projects in the past, Duet’s smaller woodframe building has young families specifically in mind much to the agreement of the neighbourhood association which worked with Chard over a span of some six years between acquisition of the site and the formal release of Duet.

“The James Bay community wanted more families in this project with South Park Elementary being right around the corner.  The woodframe building has larger suites designed for families and with the price point of woodframe construction we felt we could deliver larger suites,” Chard said of the ability to offer larger units in the woodframe building.

Response to Duet has been strong and phase 1, the concrete building (with units ranging in price from $229,000 to $999,000), sold 10 of 62 units in it’s opening weekend.  Phase 2, the woodframe, will be marketed once construction on Duet has begun later this year and prices will be released then. Completion of both buildings is expected by summer of 2014.

Meanwhile Chard’s Sovereign project at 608 Broughton, an 11-storey luxury tower immediately across the street from the Duet and Sovereign showroom, is months into excavation and groundwork preparation.  Sovereign, currently 50% sold-out, is expected to be completed next year.

A May 6th photo of excavation and site preparations at the site of The Sovereign project in downtown Victoria. Photo © MarkoJ on VV's forum.

With two projects already on the go Chard confirms planning is ramping up for yet another development, this time back on the downtown turf in the 800-block of Yates Street.

Chard purchased the 819 Yates property last year and while short on details, he claims we “ain’t seen nothing yet.”

“We are going to be investigating all options of uses to see what else we can provide to the community.  We do wish to look at a mixed-use office, residential and commercial project and from a downtown resident’s and business owner’s perspective what we are contemplating will be pretty exciting for everybody.”

More formal plans for 819 Yates, zoned for two towers of 17- and 12-floors, will be released next year.

To discuss the Duet project, refer to VibrantVictoria’s discussion thread here. For more information on Duet, click here. To stay up-to-date on the 819 Yates project, click here and progress at The Sovereign can be followed here. For the latest news on Victoria condo developments be sure to connect to our Victoria Condos Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on local construction activity from around the region. Duet’s official website can be accessed here and Chard Development’s website here.

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Responses to this Headline or Article

The five most recent replies to VibrantVictoria.ca's discussion forum's [James Bay] Duet | Condos | 8- & 4-storeys | Under construction thread, the most relevant thread to the above headline or article:

James Bay walker

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:42 am

Yes, indeed. They were hard at it earlier this week, too. I'd of thought they would get the blasting over and done with at one go. :confused:



Oct 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm

October 13th, 2013.



Mike K.

Oct 14, 2013 at 11:31 am

These guys aren't wasting any time, are they?


Oct 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm

From the webcam today.



Nov 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm

November 10th, 2013.



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