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The Churchill (former Reckless Bikes building) | Under construction


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#1 Rob Randall

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 11:52 PM

Once known as the Portland Hotel. You will remember it as the bright yellow building with black trim in the 700 block Yates across from the Mozart lot.

Former ground floor tenant was Reckless Bikes but a fire pretty much gutted the building. It was sold and the new owner (Churchill Properties Corp.) wants to consolidate the lot with the building next door, add a storey to each building and promote them as market residential rental units after construction.

Only variance being asked for is parking, as there is none.

You can see it on the right hand side of this photo:

http://www.flickr.co...N00/3031819738/

You can also see the orange building to the left (beside St. Andrews office tower) that is also part of the development. There is a small courtyard behind.

Here are the minutes of the Heritage meeting held this summer:

CITY OF VICTORIA
HERITAGE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
MINUTES - August 11, 2009


721 - 725 Yates Street - Heritage Designation #000081

Owner Request for Heritage Designation

Heritage Register Commercial Building / Heritage Conservation Area (DPA-9)

Zoned: CA-4 - Central Area Commercial Office

Helen Cain provided an overview of the request:

The owner of the Portland Hotel building at 721 - 725 Yates Street, Philip Langridge of
Churchill Properties Corporation, has submitted an application for heritage designation in
order to qualify for the City of Victoria and Victoria Civic Heritage Trust Tax Incentive
Program and Building Incentive Program. A Heritage Alteration Permit for the residential
conversion and façade rehabilitation of 719 and 721 - 725 Yates Street is pending.

The Portland Hotel is a four-storey, masonry commercial building, located midblock on the
south side of Yates Street between Douglas and Blanshard Streets. It forms part of a
grouping of older structures of similar scale that remain on this part of the block. The
ground floor consists of a series of glazed storefronts with cast iron columns and multi-
paned transoms. The second and third floors have five bays of double-assembly windows
and the top floor has five pairs of round-arched windows.

Committee Comments:

The owner and the heritage consultant are to be commended on their intention to
rehabilitate the building’s exterior so as to retain its heritage character
Moved
Seconded
Whereas, the building at 721 - 725 Yates Street is of heritage significance, City Council
designate it as a Municipal Heritage Site.

#2 D.L.

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 12:21 AM

sounds good :)

#3 Bingo

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 04:56 PM

Wasn't the Arthur Murray Dance Studio on the second floor at one time?

#4 Rob Randall

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:11 AM

Sorry, I made a mistake. The second smaller building that is part of this renovation is not the small orange building to the left, it is the somewhat larger building to the right of the yellow building.

Two storeys will be added to that building while one storey will be added to the big Reckless Bikes/Portland Hotel building.

The additions will be set back meaning they will look similar to the additions on the Monaco Lofts building at Johnson and Government.

#5 G-Man

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:44 AM

So bizarre that we spent the last fifty years taking floors off buildings and now we are putting floors on buildings...

#6 yodsaker

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:02 AM

So bizarre that we spent the last fifty years taking floors off buildings and now we are putting floors on buildings...


Just as long as we don't put too many!:o

#7 D.L.

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:51 AM

The electric bike place that was in there has recently moved.

I wonder if the lower portion at the back of the building will be turned into a patio.



http://maps.bing.com/

#8 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:28 AM

http://www.timescolo...2557/story.html

Heritage trumps parking for Yates Street proposal

City will look at relaxing parking requirements for downtown project

By Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist
January 20, 2010


Heritage and parking aren't an easy mix in a proposal to renovate two early-1900s vintage buildings on Yates Street for rental and commercial use, the developer says.


[...]

#9 Baro

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:38 AM

That is awesome news! Glad to see the city allowing some creativity downtown
"beats greezy have baked donut-dough"

#10 piltdownman

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:15 AM

This sounds great in principle. I don't know if I agree with all these proposals with little parking. I mean in theory this sounds like a great plan, people will give up driving. But essentially means that people will just end up parking on the street. The problem with this is car break ins and theft appears (at least to me) to be increasing. I live downtown and in the last couple years, I've gone from rarely seeing a smashed car window to it being a weekly occurrence. I have also seen an increase in cars with grease pencil numbers in the corner of the front window, indicating they have recently been picked up from the towing yard, likely after being stolen. So while I think its great that projects like this can get off the ground, the trend of less underground parking is somewhat scary.

#11 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:44 AM

This sounds great in principle. I don't know if I agree with all these proposals with little parking. I mean in theory this sounds like a great plan, people will give up driving. But essentially means that people will just end up parking on the street. The problem with this is car break ins and theft appears (at least to me) to be increasing. I live downtown and in the last couple years, I've gone from rarely seeing a smashed car window to it being a weekly occurrence. I have also seen an increase in cars with grease pencil numbers in the corner of the front window, indicating they have recently been picked up from the towing yard, likely after being stolen. So while I think its great that projects like this can get off the ground, the trend of less underground parking is somewhat scary.


...in the downtown core, I think this is ideal. Walk the streets at 3am, there is LOTS of street parking. It's not like their cars can spill easily into residential streets where there are no meters or time restrictions. And it is not like they can park all day while businesses are open, unless they want to keep plugging the meter and driving around. I lived downtown with no parking stall for 2 years, and at one time I had two cars, a sports car and a campervan. I figured it out. We should not have to worry about hiding our cars in underground parkades for fear of being broken into. If you leave no valuables visible (no stereo visible) the chances of your car being broken is almost nil. It's those who even leave 50 cents change visible that will be hit. You soon learn this when you live downtown.

Moreover, my building has 63 suites and 36 parking stalls. As of today, the waiting list for the next available stall is 2 people.

#12 Rob Randall

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:50 AM

My old condo had underground parking. Thieves love it because they're easy to walk into and they can hide out as long as they like undetected.

#13 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:53 AM

My old condo had underground parking. Thieves love it because they're easy to walk into and they can hide out as long as they like undetected.


Exactly. Plus the weather is nice, they can see if anyone comes because a person is likely only to approach from one door. They've got 30, 50, or 70 cars to choose from in nice isolation.

#14 yodsaker

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 03:44 PM

Not to mention a warm place to pee...

#15 Baro

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 06:34 PM

I used to work in a small building on oak bay ave with a very secure seeming underground parkade, not even downtown but it was "broken" into quite often. Hidden parking, unless VERY secure, often just means criminals have a place to hide and work in peace.

And this all comes down to buyer beware. If the market says downtown condos without parking on-side will sell, then so be it. I'd love to see a thousand units like this added downtown, I want to have eyes and ears with a vested interest in local safety on the street 24/7. Once we've got this pop density downtown people can just walk to work or take the tram to the big secure garage space they lease for their car.
"beats greezy have baked donut-dough"

#16 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 06:50 PM

And this all comes down to buyer beware. If the market says downtown condos without parking on-side will sell, then so be it. I'd love to see a thousand units like this added downtown, I want to have eyes and ears with a vested interest in local safety on the street 24/7.


My feeling too. If no ones like it, then they won't sell/rent. So be it.

#17 D.L.

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 12:29 PM

My photo from today. Looks like concrete is being pumped into the ground floor.

I hope the bright colour scheme remains after the renovation.



#18 Bob Fugger

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:36 PM

If the market says downtown condos without parking on-side will sell, then so be it. I'd love to see a thousand units like this added downtown, I want to have eyes and ears with a vested interest in local safety on the street 24/7.


Unfortunately, the market isn't there, yet. Case in point: my sister-in-law has a one bedroom revenue condo in The Metropolitan, sans parking spot. My realtor has at least three buyers looking to snap up units in that building; however, none of the three are interested the unit because it does not include a parking spot.

#19 G-Man

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:42 PM

^ This is a whole different ballgame as it is a rental building. I rented for many years without a parking spot.

#20 Baro

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:51 PM

We'll just have to see how the building does, but I think the type of person who'd rent such a building is a much better market for a no-parking unit than someone who'd be looking at the metropolitan. Then again I have no idea what the rents here will be which will really determine the class and type of renter. The developer has probably done his homework, I'm interested to see how this building does as a test project. There's a lot of similar buildings in town that could see a reno like this if there is indeed a market for it.
"beats greezy have baked donut-dough"

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