Public space to double with Northern Junk remediation: developer
There has been much heated debate over the future of land near the historic Northern Junk buildings at the eastern foot of the Johnson Street Bridge in downtown Victoria.
Multiple contributors to VibrantVictoria’s dedicated discussion thread on the Northern Junk complex have questioned the loss of a tract of public space to make way for commercial and residential buildings enveloping to-be remediated heritage structures, while others have cheered the developer’s vision as representing the prospect of positive change to what is otherwise a crime-ridden nook of Old Town.
Developer Jon Stovell of Reliance Properties, the proponent of the project, has provided the public via VibrantVictoria’s forum multiple clarifications about the proposal in an effort to swing the debate from misinterpretation to fact.
Seemingly unbeknownst to those in opposition to the project’s use of public land, Stovell confirmed that the development will double the public space currently available within the immediate area while opening up access to the waterfront and contributing to the City’s vision for the Victoria Harbour Pathway. Concern over the loss of a grassy median to make way for the project’s newly built mixed-use buildings was voiced, albeit the public land in its current form has the tendency to draw drug-related activity.
“In the proposal the open space (open to the public) is actually being doubled. It is also better open space being closer to, or actually on the water,” Stovell wrote.
A public plaza along the waterfront together with a connection to the Victoria Harbour Pathway are also envisioned and represent an integral component of the developer’s commitment to public access. Stovell further confirmed that public access will be guaranteed through legal agreements with the City of Victoria with the only gated portions located at the building lobby.
The re-use of the land for mixed-use commercial and residential units has supporters (including the City of Victoria which welcomed Reliance’s vision for the public median in return for remediating two heritage structures), many of whom welcome the opportunity to reclaim an area of downtown that has both poor pedestrian infrastructure and lacks a sense of place.
The Northern Junk complex is proposed with some 56 residential units over 53,600 square feet and 14,600 square feet of street level commercial space spread over five floors. The design is in the hands of Merrick Architecture, an internationally recognized architectural practice based in Victoria with proven experience designing heritage-sensitive projects.
To stay up to date on the Northern Junk complex, refer to VibrantVictoria’s discussion forum thread here.
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Responses to this Headline or Article
The five most recent replies to VibrantVictoria.ca's discussion forum's [Downtown Victoria] Northern Junk Complex | Condos | 5-storeys | Proposed thread, the most relevant thread to the above headline or article:
Mike K.Oct 14, 2013 at 7:03 pm
Jon, would you happen to have updated renderings of this project?
sebberryOct 17, 2013 at 5:06 pm
Have I missed any updates with this project?
Jon SOct 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm
VV - No recent updates. It will become very active as soon as the Janion Permit is done ( knock wood). The only renderings we have are the ones that are already out there. No Janion level renders at this point. Stay tuned.
sebberryOct 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm
SzevenOct 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm
Are the 60 condos in the Northern Junk sized as 'normal' condos? Will the strong response to the Janion have any chance of changing the mix of units in the Northern Junk to some or mostly microsuites?