Plans afoot to convert Old Town properties into student housing, condos and retail space
We've got info coming in that UVic Properties has partnered with Chard Development to redevelop/restore the Duck's Block on Broad Street between Johnson and Yates streets.
There will be some 50-odd units and a commercial ground floor. The development will incorporate the surface parking lot adjacent to the Duck's Block. The top height of the project would be seven-storeys.
UVic Properties is partnering with Chard Development Ltd. on a proposal to redevelop the Broad Street properties, a collection of revenue real estate holdings in downtown Victoria owned by the University of Victoria.
The proposed redevelopment will retain and renovate the historic Duck’s Building and create two new buildings to provide commercial space, housing and rental units.
The properties comprise:
· 1312 Broad St., a parking lot
· 1314 Broad St., the historic three-storey Duck’s Building
· 1324 Broad St. and 615-625 Johnston Street, a two-storey commercial annex building
The Broad Street properties are part of the late Michael Williams’ donation to UVic to provide the university with long-term financial returns to support its academic mission.
UVic Properties, a wholly owned entity that manages UVic’s revenue properties, selected Chard as a partner as a result of a public request for expressions of interest process in 2015.
“UVic Properties is pleased to be working with Chard Development for the Broad Street properties,” says Peter Kuran, president of UVic Properties. “This proposal is intended to provide housing downtown, including for UVic students, increase UVic’s downtown real estate investments, as well as enhance the future returns of a donation that was intended to provide ongoing financial support to UVic.”
The proposal calls for Chard to build a 52-unit market residential rental complex on the parking lot property, which will be retained by UVic. In order to address a shortage of on-campus housing, UVic students would be given preference to rent the units.
As part of the proposal, Chard will purchase and renovate the Duck’s Building, built in 1892 and designated in the Community Heritage Register as one of Canada’s Historic Places. The proposed renovation respects the heritage character of the Duck’s building and will create 51 residential condominiums and commercial spaces at grade.
Chard also intends to purchase the adjacent annex building and construct a new building to create a further 53 residential-market condominiums.
“We have been committed to developing a broad range of housing alternatives in downtown Victoria for more than a decade,” says Dave Chard, president of Chard Development. “We are thrilled to be working with the University of Victoria and UVic Properties to help realize the potential of this historic site.”
Next steps include public consultation with the City of Victoria’s Community Association Land Use Committee as well as submitting a rezoning and development permit application to the City of Victoria that will address land use, density, design and neighbourhood character.
UVic Properties regularly reviews how each non-academic revenue property is performing and implements strategies to optimize returns while minimizing operating risk, as net proceeds support UVic’s academic mission.
An online version of this release with backgrounder is available here.