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[Saanich] Tuscany Village mixed-use | Built - completed in 2007


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#1 Mike K.

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:23 AM

Tuscany Village close to finished
Developer surprised by response to sale of last condo units

BY ANDREW A. DUFFY Times Colonist staff

The $50-million development near the corner of Shelbourne Street and McKenzie Avenue in Saanich is in the final stages of construction with site developer Bond Development Corporation suggesting a May 1 move-in date for residents and commercial tenants.

The developers have put the final 45 units up for sale, ranging from $300,000 for one-bedroom condos to just under $600,000 for two bedrooms with a den, and they don’t expect it will be long before they are sold out.

“We ran our first ad in [last] weekend’s paper and had 40 people through on the first day,” said developer Doug Foord, noting the team was caught off guard by the response.

They are targeting local residents with their mixed-media campaign, noting they are unlikely to draw well in Alberta and beyond — areas which have invested heavily in developments like Bayview and Bear Mountain.

“We don’t perceive our market is the same as the people who buy at Bear Mountain or downtown. That market is looking at [Victoria] as a resort for [spending] a weekend here and there because it’s now convenient,” he said. “We don’t have the ‘sex appeal’ of the Inner Harbour or a golf course.

“We market to people who actually want to live [full time] in our development. That’s more a local market.”

The advantage Tuscany Village has over some of the other developments around the city is the fact it’s well out of the ground, while cranes and big holes make up many of the work sites in Greater Victoria.

“It helps a lot because it creates excitement and people can we see we’re not just a concept anymore,” said Foord.

The developers are still weighing two options for one of the major commercial tenants after Milestone’s restaurants pulled out after a delay in construction.

Last year, the developers were forced to halt construction to secure additional financing due to increasing construction and labour costs.

The Italian-styled development with 91 residential units and 75,000 square feet of commercial space had originally been slated to open in the fall of 2006.

Already confirmed for the commercial space are Thrifty Foods, Pharmasave, Villages Pizza, Subway, Starbucks, Blockbuster, a veterinarian, hair salon and liquor store.

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#2 G-Man

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:26 AM

That is too bad Milestones pulled out. Oh well...

I don't know if it is just me but this place looks like your typical auto-centric shopping plaza. Basically Shellbourne Plaza with Condos on top. Anyone know how much surface parking there is going to be?

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#3 Mike K.

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:28 AM

I believe there's quite a bit but not as much as you see out in Langford or across the street at Unic Heights. There's also an underground parking component as per Westside Village.

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#4 gumgum

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:31 AM

Thank God there's going to be a Thrifty Foods, Pharmasave, Villages Pizza, Subway, Starbucks and a Blockbuster. There's no where else in the Victoria area where one could find one of these!

#5 G-Man

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:39 AM

^ so true.

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#6 D.L.

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:40 AM

surface parking and chain stores? sounds Tuscanesque!!

#7 aastra

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:56 AM

How long before we start hearing stories about confused tourists looking for the train to Florence?

So if every new development in Saanich has to be themed to emulate another place, does that mean Saanich itself has no intrinsic theme? No real identity?

“We market to people who actually want to live [full time] in our development. That’s more a local market.”


Gimmicky suburban projects are marketed to Victorians whereas genuinely urban downtown projects are marketed to out-of-towners. Does this mean Victorians don't like the real Victoria?

#8 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 04:50 PM

That is too bad Milestones pulled out. Oh well...

I don't know if it is just me but this place looks like your typical auto-centric shopping plaza. Basically Shellbourne Plaza with Condos on top. Anyone know how much surface parking there is going to be?


Didn't someone say Milestones is going out to Millstream near Costco/Home Depot?
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#9 gumgum

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 04:55 PM

Here's the thing about this development...
I'm a fan of it in a sense that they at least integrated res and commercial simultaneously, whereas, and Town and Country, there has to be for some reason, a definable separation between one and the other; and it really gets on my nerves, because if they're so interested in emulating a small town, their should be res above commercial like this one.

#10 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:03 PM

^ T&C: The reason is that the pension funds can't fund residential building, they must fund something that has an opportunity for a continuous return (ie retail leases) rather than a one-time speculative investment (fee simple property development). Morgard is a real estate investment trust.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#11 gumgum

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:05 PM

^ I remember reading that. But there must be a way around that.

#12 van-island

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:33 PM

Another sad excuse of condo architecture and "urban living".

Why is it that we feel the need to deny our own heritage and steal "design" from other cultures?

The garden plots on the roof and the "gathering space" will most likely end in the most abject failure - people who want to buy a "Tuscany-style" condo unit will not be gardening on their rooftops, nor schmoozing with their "neighbours".

It's heartening to know they have Blockbuster in Tuscany too.

Hey Tuscany Village: :smt098

#13 djp

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 10:54 PM

Why is it that we feel the need to deny our own heritage and steal "design" from other cultures?


Ugh. I'm absolutely sick of our heritage. If I see another fake English Tudor-style building or Olde Irish Tymes Bar, I think I'll have to leave Victoria. Oh wait...I already did.

Anyway, Vancouver Island was first explored by Spanish people. Everything around there doesn't need to be crumpets and tea. It was originally named Vancouver and Quadra Island, you know.

#14 aastra

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 09:51 AM

DJP, I think Van-Island was referring to Victoria's real heritage, not the fake British stuff.

Fake Tudor is as much a denial of Victoria's real heritage as a castle made out of pink marshmallows.

#15 djp

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 11:19 AM

Well isn't much of Victoria's real architectural heritage Victorian Italianate and Spanish Revival? So a Tuscan theme should fit with that. (I haven't actually seen this particular project, but I was responding to the general statement that we should stop stealing others' heritage.

#16 G-Man

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 11:27 AM

The theme of this project is "Shh, don't tell anyone we have built a strip mall."

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#17 D.L.

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 11:44 AM

It was originally named Vancouver and Quadra Island, you know.

Quadra Island is another island entirely. Mr. Vancouver named Quadra Island after his friend, and Mr. Quadra named Vancouver Island after his friend.

Fake Tudor is as much a denial of Victoria's real heritage as a castle made out of pink marshmallows.

British culture is the largest ethnic segment of our heritage in this city. Some of the British cultural references were exagerated to take advantage of the American tourist market, but there was a legitimate foundation to base it off of.

#18 G-Man

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 11:51 AM

I would argue that our true architectual heritage is a mish mash of types but more american then british.

Vancouver Island was indeed originally called:

Quadra and Vancouver's Island

In fact, our very island once bore a Spanish name that is still familiar but was mysteriously removed from the honorable place it once occupied.


Captain Vancouver originally named the island "Quadra and Vancouver's Island" to commemorate the friendly meetings that took place there between himself and the Spanish Captain Quadra


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#19 Holden West

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 11:55 AM

Victoria's Italianate [url=http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/pacificnw/2003/0209/living.html:157e4]architecture style[/url:157e4] was imported from San Francisco and other west coast cities who themselves imported it from eastern American cities who imported it from England.

The direct link from Victoria to Tuscany is tenuous indeed.
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#20 G-Man

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 12:17 PM

Anyone been to Tuscany? I have, it don't look like that place. First off they should have cut down all the tall pine and cedar trees near the site. Then they would have quadrupled the density. Provided parking that only fits three wheeled fiats and scooters. And then they would have only allowed commercial that is one of the following: Restaurant (no chains), wine and paper stores (together not separate), key cutting places, Shoe repair, interior design/ real estate office, and of course scooter rental place.

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