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[Saanich] Vancouver Island Technology Park | Built


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#21 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 08:54 PM

Wait, wait...! You people have me really confused... I read and reread this thread from amor de cosmos's posting today onwards, through to Thallin (with Holden West and spanky123 inbetween), and I don't get what spanky123 or Thallin are talking about.

Re. spanky123: what "2 of 3 'money people'" are you talking about? and Re. Thallin: what building? What are you people on about?
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#22 Guest_Marcat_*

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 05:51 PM

The Master Plan for the project is now complete, and tenants are being sought out. A project update will be available in February/March of 2010

#23 amor de cosmos

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:07 PM

masterplan



#24 James Bay walker

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:13 PM

Interesting. Why are the solar panels not tilted southwards? (I suspect this thought would cross most viewers' minds.)

The solar panels would be 70% efficient so far as receiving sunlight if tilted 40 degrees for our sort of latitude. If they're as they appear (horizontal, pretty in a photograph but not efficient imo), I think they'd only be about 50% or so efficient (tilting ought to boost their output by ~20-25%).

A fringe benefit of tilting would be that rain would tend to keep them nice and clean by rinsing off any dirt residue that fell onto the panels between rainfalls. Avoiding a 5(?)% reduction in efficiency due to soiling.

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#25 Mike K.

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:32 PM

Where did you get that rendering, cosmos?

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#26 amor de cosmos

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:26 PM

whoops, screencapped from the pdf here:
http://vitp.ca/leasi...ies/masterplan/

saw it for the first time at the airport

& camosun is out of the frame to the top, layritz is out of the frame to the left & the horticultural centre is to the right. I got it backwards the first time I saw it.

#27 Bernard

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:31 AM

The masterplan has been around for going on six years now and nothing much seems to have happened. Are there any plans to build any of it any time soon?

#28 Mike K.

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 10:32 AM

I have a feeling the VITP was a viable option for tech companies when the Canadian dollar was at least 20% weaker than the US dollar. Over the last ~3 years we've been stuck at parity while the cost to do business in Canada is significantly higher than the cost to do business in the United States.

To be honest the major thing keeping all sorts of local "tech" companies in business are government grants and federal programs that help pay the wages of "research and development" staff. And there are the wild west cowboys like West Corp (no pun) who locate a branch wherever they receive tax breaks and incentives, and once those incentives are used up they seek another market gullible and desperate enough to take them.

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#29 spanky123

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 05:30 PM

I have a feeling the VITP was a viable option for tech companies when the Canadian dollar was at least 20% weaker than the US dollar. Over the last ~3 years we've been stuck at parity while the cost to do business in Canada is significantly higher than the cost to do business in the United States.

To be honest the major thing keeping all sorts of local "tech" companies in business are government grants and federal programs that help pay the wages of "research and development" staff. And there are the wild west cowboys like West Corp (no pun) who locate a branch wherever they receive tax breaks and incentives, and once those incentives are used up they seek another market gullible and desperate enough to take them.


Viatec moved out of the tech park and Dale Gann left. Most of the space is occupied by Government services companies like HP who wouldn't be there except for the sweet deal that they have.

The plan to expand the tech park was never anything more than a UVIC planning exercise if the Government agreed to pay for it. The tech park can't even fill the space they have now.

#30 Baro

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 05:58 PM

I've been working in a space in the tech park, the deal was wayyyyy too sweet to refuse.
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#31 Brick and Mortar

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:02 PM

Viatec moved out of the tech park and Dale Gann left. Most of the space is occupied by Government services companies like HP who wouldn't be there except for the sweet deal that they have.

The plan to expand the tech park was never anything more than a UVIC planning exercise if the Government agreed to pay for it. The tech park can't even fill the space they have now.



How much space is still vacant at the tech park Spanky?

#32 Mike K.

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:44 PM

^are the private companies operating out of the tech park subsidized by tax payers?

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#33 AllseeingEye

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:42 PM

I have a feeling the VITP was a viable option for tech companies when the Canadian dollar was at least 20% weaker than the US dollar. Over the last ~3 years we've been stuck at parity while the cost to do business in Canada is significantly higher than the cost to do business in the United States.

To be honest the major thing keeping all sorts of local "tech" companies in business are government grants and federal programs that help pay the wages of "research and development" staff. And there are the wild west cowboys like West Corp (no pun) who locate a branch wherever they receive tax breaks and incentives, and once those incentives are used up they seek another market gullible and desperate enough to take them.


I was West's first Ops Manager and was part of the team that provisioned and opened the original call center in Central Saanich; while I get the gist of your intent Mike and generally agree with your premise the last time I checked West was making in the vicinity of $700 million USD /quarter which means they must be doing something right. I would hardly characterize them as "cowboys": they know their business, in fact technologically are way ahead of the curve in terms of IVR and call center applications. At the time their primary Network NOC in Nebraska was the third largest in the US, exceeded in scale and scope only by AT&T and NASA.

I was involved peripherally in some the discussions between West HQ in Omaha and the City of Victoria. To be completely fair the City did in fact sell them a vision that wasn't entirely accurate in terms of the local workforce, its compensation expectations ("sure $9/hour will be fine, no worries!"); and especially the work culture of the west coast - regarding the latter its about a million light years apart from Omaha. No question they did and do typically locate their facilities in areas where tax breaks accrue and where lower salaries were and are the norm; hence their call centers were in Brownsville rather than Dallas TX; Pensacola as opposed to Miami FLA etc. That said at worst I would say they can be accused of is failing to perform better diligence in this market. It was clear even in the first 6 months the operation was going to struggle to merely to achieve its hiring goals, never mid fulfill revenue expectations. Their other option in Canada at the time was Saskatchewan (Regina to be specific). Victoria sold them a vision - not altogether realistic, and West bit hard. Clearly in retrospect their model was more suited to the Saskatchewan market than to BC.

#34 spanky123

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:29 AM

I think you have made a very accurate assessment about the situation with West.

With respect to the Tech Park, my latest info is that they have about 20K sq ft empty. About 10K of that is in the main building while the rest was in the two hubs for startups and desk space. From what I hear, the larger problem is that businesses are leaving once their leases are up and UVIC hasn't been able to refill the space. With Viatec gone and HP leases so much of the overall space, the tech vibe isn't there from what I hear.

I don't know if it is fair to refer to the space as taxpayer subsidized. It is owned by UVIC so funding comes from a variety of sources. In my opinion UVIC has a pretty weak track record running businesses outside of their core education services.

#35 Mike K.

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 02:47 PM

I was West's first Ops Manager and was part of the team that provisioned and opened the original call center in Central Saanich; while I get the gist of your intent Mike and generally agree with your premise the last time I checked West was making in the vicinity of $700 million USD /quarter which means they must be doing something right. I would hardly characterize them as "cowboys": they know their business, in fact technologically are way ahead of the curve in terms of IVR and call center applications. At the time their primary Network NOC in Nebraska was the third largest in the US, exceeded in scale and scope only by AT&T and NASA.

I was involved peripherally in some the discussions between West HQ in Omaha and the City of Victoria. To be completely fair the City did in fact sell them a vision that wasn't entirely accurate in terms of the local workforce, its compensation expectations ("sure $9/hour will be fine, no worries!"); and especially the work culture of the west coast - regarding the latter its about a million light years apart from Omaha. No question they did and do typically locate their facilities in areas where tax breaks accrue and where lower salaries were and are the norm; hence their call centers were in Brownsville rather than Dallas TX; Pensacola as opposed to Miami FLA etc. That said at worst I would say they can be accused of is failing to perform better diligence in this market. It was clear even in the first 6 months the operation was going to struggle to merely to achieve its hiring goals, never mid fulfill revenue expectations. Their other option in Canada at the time was Saskatchewan (Regina to be specific). Victoria sold them a vision - not altogether realistic, and West bit hard. Clearly in retrospect their model was more suited to the Saskatchewan market than to BC.


Thank you for the explanation, ASE, it's much appreciated.

While I understand that West had good intentions I find it hard to accept that such a large corporation would be so easily duped.

IMO the most puzzling aspect of the whole West experience was their decision to locate in the worst possible location for attracting young employees. Public transit might as well have not existed and all but a few workers had no option but to drive. I had several friends who worked there and quit even though West started upping wages and making the job more attractive. Each one of them loved the job and their coworkers but they could no longer justify driving to Central Saanich.

As for the City of Victoria, in what capacity was City Hall involved? I'm not sure I understand why the City of Victoria would be working to attract West if the direct beneficiary of the operation would be a municipality three municipalities removed from the City of Victoria.

In my opinion UVIC has a pretty weak track record running businesses outside of their core education services.

I concur. Their commercial operations could be managed much, much better.

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#36 jonny

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:58 PM

IMO the most puzzling aspect of the whole West experience was their decision to locate in the worst possible location for attracting young employees. Public transit might as well have not existed and all but a few workers had no option but to drive. I had several friends who worked there and quit even though West started upping wages and making the job more attractive. Each one of them loved the job and their coworkers but they could no longer justify driving to Central Saanich.


I agree.

I worked at Telus Sourcing Solutions out at Keating Cross Road in the call centre briefly while job hunting after I graduated University. I was paid $10.50/hour with no benefits, other than free on site parking. I was netting maybe $50/day after taxes and transportation, but it was still a reasonable job. Most of my coworkers were working there as a stop gap. Certainly nobody worked there as a career, but there was lots of opportunity for overtime and working on weekends. The drive out there was a killer financially though.

#37 James Bay walker

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:48 PM

The drive out there was a killer financially though.

A good situation for car pooling imo, if you could post a notice to try to find co-workers in the same complex(es) with the same schedule who lived anywhere near your home's location.

jbw

#38 Brick and Mortar

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 06:47 AM

I think you have made a very accurate assessment about the situation with West.

With respect to the Tech Park, my latest info is that they have about 20K sq ft empty. About 10K of that is in the main building while the rest was in the two hubs for startups and desk space. From what I hear, the larger problem is that businesses are leaving once their leases are up and UVIC hasn't been able to refill the space. With Viatec gone and HP leases so much of the overall space, the tech vibe isn't there from what I hear.

I don't know if it is fair to refer to the space as taxpayer subsidized. It is owned by UVIC so funding comes from a variety of sources. In my opinion UVIC has a pretty weak track record running businesses outside of their core education services.




If it is only 20,000 SF of vacancy then that is still relatively in line with Victoria's overall vacancy rate of +/- 10%. I also had a look at the website and see that all leasing inquiries are directed to Colliers now. Is that just recent?

#39 Bernard

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:44 AM

I have always wondered about the location - it is not really close to much. You can not quickly run out to grab a bite to eat or an office supply store. In many ways I would think that UpTown area would make more sense for a high tech cluster of companies.

#40 spanky123

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:56 AM

If it is only 20,000 SF of vacancy then that is still relatively in line with Victoria's overall vacancy rate of +/- 10%. I also had a look at the website and see that all leasing inquiries are directed to Colliers now. Is that just recent?


It is not so much the 20K vacancy as much as it is that leases are not being renewed and that number will grow. If I recall, UVIC let the onsite lease manager go a year or two ago so I think that Colliers has been managing since then.

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