Jump to content

      














PROPOSED
Fairfield Block
Uses: rental, commercial
Address: 1601-1609 Douglas Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 3
Reliance Properties has announced plans to rehabilitate the historic Fairfield Block building on Douglas Stree... (view full profile)
Learn more about Fairfield Block on Citified.ca
Photo

Fairfield Block


  • Please log in to reply
42 replies to this topic

#1 Nparker

Nparker
  • Member
  • 25,958 posts

Posted 15 July 2015 - 10:42 AM

Some interesting musings on the potential redevelopment of the Fairfield Block on Douglas Street:

 

 

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is pondering the kind of carrots needed to attract creative developers to buy the historic Fairfield Block in downtown Victoria. She is floating the idea of incorporating low-income rooming house units in a new development also containing condominiums... As a heritage building, the Fairfield Block would remain, she said. Redevelopment could “potentially add height and density to the existing footprint and incorporate those single-room-occupancy units as part as any new development.”

- See more at: http://www.timescolo...h.hwQlGr9j.dpuf

vka-fairfield-410201-jpg.jpg



#2 aastra

aastra
  • Member
  • 15,799 posts

Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:51 AM

Why the focus on this particular property?



#3 Kapten Kapsell

Kapten Kapsell
  • Member
  • 2,699 posts

Posted 15 July 2015 - 12:38 PM

Why the focus on this particular property?

Perhaps due to the fact that the property is for sale for the first time in its history...?



#4 Mr Cook Street

Mr Cook Street
  • Member
  • 942 posts

Posted 15 July 2015 - 12:43 PM

Why the focus on this particular property?

And the proximity to centennial square, city hall and some marquee new developments - 1515 douglas and The Hudson district. It's jammed right in the middle of a revitalization.



#5 aastra

aastra
  • Member
  • 15,799 posts

Posted 15 July 2015 - 01:14 PM

It's great that she wants to encourage something to happen there. I wish they'd do more re: incentives. But if I'm handing out a carrot on this corner I'd probably be backing up a produce truck at the corner of Caledonia and Douglas.


  • thundergun likes this

#6 Redd42

Redd42
  • Member
  • 617 posts

Posted 15 July 2015 - 06:26 PM

Perhaps due to the fact that the property is for sale for the first time in its history...?

 

I saw that in the TC article. Has it really had the same owner (passed down through a family?) since it was built? Or could there have been private sales along the way? Anyone have any intel on who owns the building?



#7 Skycap

Skycap
  • Member
  • 5 posts

Posted 07 September 2015 - 04:53 PM

What type of incentives would the city offer a developer in this case to keep a portion of the building as single-room occupancy / affordable housing?    



#8 kdasilva

kdasilva
  • Member
  • 8 posts

Posted 08 September 2015 - 10:28 AM

What type of incentives would the city offer a developer in this case to keep a portion of the building as single-room occupancy / affordable housing?    

 

The city has numerous way to incentivize development.

 

They could offer more density through additional FSR/Height etc, basically allowing the construction of more profitable units to offset the cost of the SRO units. (This is what is often referred to as 'Density Bonusing').

 

Similarly the city can provide a density "credit" of a certain value, which the developer could potentially apply to a different site they have, IF the density would be more appropriate at that location

They can waive any/all of the plethora of municipal fees that a developer pays during development (I.e. Development Cost Charges)

They can provide partial/total relief of property taxes for a certain amount of time.

Basically development hinges on a financial "Pro-forma"(a total account of Costs, Revenue, Profits, and Land), Assuming the project wasn't already wildly above the necessary profit margins, financial trade-offs need to be given to keep a project feasible.

You will notice that "Land" was one of the key variables, the hard part now is preventing the land owner from "speculating" on the potential value of the land via whatever financial incentives the city provides. The more value the land owner wants...the less effective any financial incentive becomes. 

Hope that helps~


  • Mike K. and Skycap like this

#9 kdasilva

kdasilva
  • Member
  • 8 posts

Posted 08 September 2015 - 10:31 AM

What type of incentives would the city offer a developer in this case to keep a portion of the building as single-room occupancy / affordable housing?    

Also.. if you are a particularly enlightened developer you will know that finding a way to make projects like these work give you the special sauce known as "social capital", which can have numerous often unaccounted for benefits if handled right.

This can come in the form of free marketing/press, community support/buy-in as well as future support/trust for other projects


  • Mike K. likes this

#10 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 56,314 posts

Posted 08 September 2015 - 10:35 AM

This can come in the form of free marketing/press, community support/buy-in as well as future support/trust for other projects

 

Legally/technically speaking council cannot consider a development proposal based on the merits of a prior proposal/project. All projects start with a clean slate irrespective of the developer's history with City Hall.

 

Legally/technically speaking, of course...


Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#11 kdasilva

kdasilva
  • Member
  • 8 posts

Posted 08 September 2015 - 10:49 AM

Legally/technically speaking council cannot consider a development proposal based on the merits of a prior proposal/project. All projects start with a clean slate irrespective of the developer's history with City Hall.

 

Legally/technically speaking, of course...

Council sure, the public can be influenced all it likes! 

Also city council is pretty far down the process, don't forget the vital and far more involved role planners play in the process leading up the point at which it ever sees council's eyes

I will give an example with giving names, of a Former top planner in Vancouver, and a major developer. Said developer repeatedly went above and beyond to facilitate social benefits in Vancouver...so when they decided to do their first major project in Toronto the developer simply asked if the planner could contact his counterpart in Toronto to help set up a meeting on the basis that the developer does "good work", the planner obliged and a quick meeting ensued.

I know that was super vague and sounds kind of silly, but i assure things that are very valuable and can save months off a project


Edited by kdasilva, 08 September 2015 - 10:50 AM.

  • Mike K. likes this

#12 Sparky

Sparky

    GET OFF MY LAWN

  • Moderator
  • 10,930 posts

Posted 08 September 2015 - 10:55 AM

Welcome to VibrantVictoria kdasilva and Skycap.


  • Nparker likes this

#13 jstovell

jstovell
  • Member
  • 85 posts

Posted 13 September 2015 - 08:25 PM

Reliance Properties is studying an option to fix up the fairfield block and maintain its current use for affordable market housing as well as maintaining its heritage status. 


  • Mr Cook Street likes this

#14 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 56,314 posts

Posted 13 September 2015 - 08:59 PM

Thanks, Jon. Does Reliance have an option to purchase this property?


Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#15 jstovell

jstovell
  • Member
  • 85 posts

Posted 13 September 2015 - 09:16 PM

Yes.



#16 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 56,314 posts

Posted 13 September 2015 - 09:17 PM

Thank you. Would you consider building an additional floor or two, or more, as part of this project?


Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#17 jstovell

jstovell
  • Member
  • 85 posts

Posted 13 September 2015 - 09:21 PM

Nothing to the building in terms of massing.



#18 jstovell

jstovell
  • Member
  • 85 posts

Posted 13 September 2015 - 09:22 PM

There will be more coming forward in the coming weeks.



#19 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 56,314 posts

Posted 13 September 2015 - 09:22 PM

That's fantastic, Jon, it's great to hear you may be at the reigns here.


Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#20 attica

attica
  • Member
  • 39 posts

Posted 14 September 2015 - 07:35 AM

Reliance Properties is studying an option to fix up the fairfield block and maintain its current use for affordable market housing as well as maintaining its heritage status. 

 

While I understand and appreciate and complexities in developing a site like this. Its current use is not "affordable market housing" it is as a SRO hotel. Which are miles apart of the affordability spectrum, and serve very different social and communal purposes. Retaining something like this is obviously much more difficult, but can be done. (However not without a lot city support/incentives)



You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

Use the page links at the lower-left to go to the next page to read additional posts.
 



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users