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595 Pandora
Uses: condo, commercial
Address: 595 Pandora Avenue
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 5
Condo units: 53 (studio/bachelor, 1BR, 2BR, penthouse)
Sales status: sold out / resales only
595 Pandora is a five-storey, 53-unit urban flat development converted from a former 1980's-era government off... (view full profile)
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[Downtown Victoria] 595 Pandora | Condos; commercial | 5-storeys | Built - renovation completed in 2017


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#1 Mike K.

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 03:04 PM

Cielo Properties, developer of the Customs House project on Government, has submitted plans to City Hall for the re-purposing of the former Ministry of Forests and Service Canada office building at 595 Pandora Avenue.

Push for rentals continues with transformation of Old Town office block
http://vibrantvictor...n-office-block/

By Mike Kozakowski, VibrantVictoria.ca

 

The former Ministry of Forests and Service Canada building at 595 Pandora Avenue in downtown Victoria's Old Town district will be brought back to life as a mixed-use residential and commercial project.

 

Developer Stan Sipos and son Jonathan have submitted plans to City Hall seeking approval to re-purpose the 1980's-era four storey office building into 51 rental units and 5,000 square feet of commercial space.

 

Sipos envisions an extension of the recessed fourth floor towards the property line together with top-floor mezzanines for extra-height units. Plans also include a redesign of the main building entrance on Pandora Avenue and the addition of balconies for select units. 30 to 40 parking spaces will be included on-site. [Full article]

 

 

595-Pandora-full.jpg

 

595-Pandora-2.jpg


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#2 aastra

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 03:18 PM

I would love to see them paint this place.



#3 Holden West

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 03:22 PM

I can safely say this is the largest 'invisible' building in downtown. Seriously, can you visualize what it looks like right now?


"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 Nparker

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 04:02 PM

...Seriously, can you visualize what it looks like right now?

595.jpg


Edited by Nparker, 09 September 2014 - 05:18 PM.


#5 Baro

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 04:44 PM

It's rare to see a boring nasty office building of this vintage re-done like this.  Usually we rip them down and only mess around saving them if it's herritage.  I guess the bones and floor plates are compatible enough to turn into residential.  I find that surprising because it's a large floor plates which don't convert well to residential unless a light-well is added in the middle like with the Hudson.  Obviously not as fat as the hudson but I'm curious how they'll lay out the units inside.  Looks like they are adding balconies on the sides too!  Odd but interesting little project.


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#6 Mike K.

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 06:09 PM

I can safely say this is the largest 'invisible' building in downtown. Seriously, can you visualize what it looks like right now?

 

Yeah, it's the reflective windows that draw your attention. You can't help but stare at your own reflection as you walk by while thinking whether or not someone is staring out at you from within. I've been passing that building for 20-odd years of my life and couldn't give you an accurate count of how many windows it has. Weird, hey?


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#7 Holden West

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 07:02 PM

Which if funny because technically, on paper, it should be the architecturally perfect modern Old Town infill: it's brick, good massing, heritage-style windows, bay windows on the ground floor, zero setback. Yet, it's a black hole of bleakness. The mirrored glass doesn't help but could it really be that a thin sheet of reflective mylar turns a great building into a horrible one?


"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 dasmo

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 08:41 PM

Yes please! 



#9 Johnathon S

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 09:05 PM

We are excited to repurpose this building. Answering the question of floor plate and interior layout it is not as bad as one would think, the units are not to deep because the central core of the building is quite thick, and the hall way will be outside of it eating up a good portion of the central potion of the floor plate.

 

Attached Images

  • 595 Pandora, Front Elevation.jpg
  • 595 Pandora, Side Elevation North.jpg

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#10 D.L.

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 09:44 PM

It will be great to have storefronts in the building. The building is a pleasing design except for the lack of street life and of course the reflective windows.

#11 zoomer

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 09:54 PM

Awesome!  Hopefully we can put this in the Before and After Dictionary of how to revitalize a horrible design.  As Holden mentioned, on paper it seemed like a good idea, but I guess they don't make buildings out of paper.  

 

Then again I guess they do



#12 D.L.

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 09:58 PM

The design of the building is fine (the brick and the massing), it's the use of the building by the government that's unattractive. Government likes mirrored windows and doesn't like retail.
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#13 Mike K.

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 06:33 AM

Next up should be the travesty at Johnson and Blanshard, northeast corner.

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#14 G-Man

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 06:36 AM

Very surprised to see this. I had no idea that they closing that office down. I have been to meetings in there in the last year.

As for the Mazda Building, it would pretty much okay if they just put retail on the ground floor.

Visit my blog at: https://www.sidewalkingvictoria.com 

 

It has a whole new look!

 


#15 Mike K.

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 06:43 AM

Mazda Building?

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#16 Mr Cook Street

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 07:09 AM

This block really has been getting a facelift!



#17 aastra

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 07:16 AM

That's the old Mazda lot that you're talking about.

 

I'd say our old friend on Blanshard between Pandora and Cormorant should be first in line for replacement/remodeling.



#18 Mike K.

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 07:24 AM

Mazda used to be at Government and Johnson? I had no idea.

But yeah, aastra's right, the building across from the Richard Blanshard needs to go.

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#19 Holden West

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 08:24 AM

I was sure it was a Toyota dealership. I clearly remember admiring the stainless steel panels on the Celica. We may need a judge's ruling on this.

 

But yeah, if there's an Old Town bylaw forbidding wood shingles there should be one forbidding mirrored film on the ground floor. Evil stuff.


"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

#20 Baro

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 08:34 AM

We are excited to repurpose this building. Answering the question of floor plate and interior layout it is not as bad as one would think, the units are not to deep because the central core of the building is quite thick, and the hall way will be outside of it eating up a good portion of the central potion of the floor plate.

 

 

Johnathon, do you have any preliminary floor plans you could share?


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