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PROPOSED
1221 Blanshard Street
Uses: office, commercial
Address: 1221 Blanshard Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 10
1221 Blanshard Street is a proposal to build a ten-storey office and retail complex on the site of the Capital... (view full profile)
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[Downtown] 1221 Blanshard Street (Capital Six) | Offices and retail | 10-storeys


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#41 Mike K.

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Posted 09 February 2022 - 08:40 PM

Maybe some opposition has always been there, but now it’s being amplified by political interests trying to change the make-up of Langford politics?
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#42 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 09 February 2022 - 09:14 PM

Maybe some opposition has always been there, but now it’s being amplified by political interests trying to change the make-up of Langford politics?


That’s possible, and Stew might actually be vulnerable in the re-election campaign (not just for reasons of development pressures).

To be fair, the west shore and Victoria proper are hard to compare; Victoria has been 100 % urbanized for decades whereas the West Shore has greenfield space that can easily be developed. Every new proposal for CoV is a redevelopment in the context of a densely-populated city (per the new Census numbers, we have a greater population density than all but a small number of other cities in Canada).

A better comparison might be: How does C of V compare to other 100% urbanized municipalities in the core? We can exclude Saanich, as there is a substantial chunk of land in that municipality with rural zoning. Esquimalt is mostly urbanized and seems development-friendly but it lost population in the census. Oak Bay is completely urbanized but I view it as a harder municipality to develop in compared to CoV; it also lost population. View Royal gained over 11% in population as people have moved into new developments there; it outperformed CoV, but Vic proper still grew over 7% in 5 years despite having the highest existing population density. And the CoV has approved thousands of additional residential units that are under construction or pending construction …

So I would say that, all told, CofV does manage to get stuff built and attract new residents. Is there room for the process to move quicker? Sure there is, and one could argue that the CALUC and design review panels could be streamlined. And I certainly can’t blame the CofV for how slowly some of the VicWest projects (Dockside Green, Roundhouse etc) over the years…

#43 Mike K.

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Posted 09 February 2022 - 09:24 PM

I would estimate 90% of Langford's development over the past five years was redevelopment/infill, as opposed to greenfield development or what we would label urban sprawl.

 

Thousands of units were built in downtown Langford since 2016. But the impression is all housing is Bear Mountain. 


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#44 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 09 February 2022 - 10:06 PM

I would estimate 90% of Langford's development over the past five years was redevelopment/infill, as opposed to greenfield development or what we would label urban sprawl.

Thousands of units were built in downtown Langford since 2016. But the impression is all housing is Bear Mountain.


There has been substantial infill in downtown Langford, but I have observed recent Greenfield development in many Langford areas aside from Bear Mountain, including Millstream , Westhills, and Happy Valley. I think downtown Langford looks nicely urban now, and it could benefit even further some kind of rail service coming back to the E and N line (with a stop at Goldstream). But I would argue that current and recent Greenfield developments have actually made it somewhat easier to bring density to downtown Langford: because a substantial percentage of Langford’s growth has been Greenfield development (both before and after 2016). the city has generally not had a “municipal tradition” of strong/vocalneighbourhood groups. So when it came time to density the downtown core of Langford, the owners of the split-level 70s boxes had little clout or experience in organizing opposition (and Langford ‘s downtown is better for this non-success). I’d also argue that - even if most Langford growth has been in downtown Langford recently- the very fact that there is still some Greenfield development gives a form of political “cover” for council to approve downtown densification: they can say that they are offering “alternatives” downtown to Greenfield development elsewhere in the municipality.

Meanwhile, Victoria is 100% urbanized, and its neighbourhood associations have been entrenched for decades (I would argue that James Bay and Rockland have associations that are even more powerful than DVRA). Infill and redevelopment can be tougher in Victoria than similar infill developments or redevelopments in Langford: Victoria redevelopment sites are more likely to require soil remediation (some redevelopment sites in Victoria have been occupied well over a century) , and there are geotechnical challenges in CoV that don’t exist in Langford. Yet despite the urbanization rate, high density, strong neighbourhood associations, and other challenges it seems likely that CoV will have close to 100,000 residents by the next census, along with thousands of additional homes, and hundreds of thousands of additional square feet of Class A office space.

This post isn’t meant to knock Langford or its infill process; I just think that CoV has managed to approve a lot of development despite facing challenges that Langford doesn’t *yet* have.
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#45 Mike K.

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Posted 10 February 2022 - 08:09 AM

It’s not quite that bad, as it sounds. The physical footprint of Happy Valley subdivisions and Westhills, etc, is tiny, by North American standards, and its expansion is very small.

And not all greenfield development is the result of pushing boundaries, either, as much of it is already within developed areas, but itself not developed.

We see that same scenario every time an SFD with a yard in Victoria is developed into a multi-unit project. You’ve essentially just developed greenfield, which has never seen development before. Virtually all development taking away back and front yards in the City of Victoria is by definition greenfield development. UVic builds on greenfield, soon a new French language school will be built on greenfield along Shelbourne, etc. Langford will soon see a new school beside Costco, on a former greenfield site. Condos are going there now. But that land has been surrounded by development for over 20 years.

Now here’s a question. Who has built more housing in its downtown since 2016, Langford or Victoria?

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#46 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 10 February 2022 - 08:34 AM

It’s not quite that bad, as it sounds. The physical footprint of Happy Valley subdivisions and Westhills, etc, is tiny, by North American standards, and its expansion is very small.

And not all greenfield development is the result of pushing boundaries, either, as much of it is already within developed areas, but itself not developed.

We see that same scenario every time an SFD with a yard in Victoria is developed into a multi-unit project. You’ve essentially just developed greenfield, which has never seen development before. Virtually all development taking away back and front yards in the City of Victoria is by definition greenfield development. UVic builds on greenfield, soon a new French language school will be built on greenfield along Shelbourne, etc. Langford will soon see a new school beside Costco, on a former greenfield site. Condos are going there now. But that land has been surrounded by development for over 20 years.

Now here’s a question. Who has built more housing in its downtown since 2016, Langford or Victoria?

 

 

I might need a Citified Pro subscription to find out?   :1954_dancing: Langford might have added more units, but I'm not sure who added more square footage ...?

 

I would suspect that Victoria and Langford both built more housing downtown than the area Saanich has designated as its downtown (around Uptown mall) but that's a pretty easy call.  Downtown Victoria has seen Hudson Place 1, Yates on Yates, 989 Johnson, V1488, Vivid at the Yates, the Yello on Yates, 1400 Quadra, Ironworks, and Jukebox open since 2016 (technically the Wade is in North park and the Save-on-Foods apartment building is in North Park).   Would that be somewhere between 1200-1500 units?



#47 Mike K.

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Posted 10 February 2022 - 09:47 AM

Langford has built more housing in its downtown core since 2016, and that's including downtown housing built in downtown Victoria-proper, Harris Green, and periphery areas that by all accounts are more downtown than whatever neighbourhood they may belong to. Langford's downtown area is also a little bigger than its formal downtown borders, so it all evens out.

 

But if you listen to discussions on Twitter, it is predominantly a lamenting over urban sprawl.


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#48 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 10 February 2022 - 10:29 AM

Langford has built more housing in its downtown core since 2016, and that's including downtown housing built in downtown Victoria-proper, Harris Green, and periphery areas that by all accounts are more downtown than whatever neighbourhood they may belong to. Langford's downtown area is also a little bigger than its formal downtown borders, so it all evens out.

 

But if you listen to discussions on Twitter, it is predominantly a lamenting over urban sprawl.

 

Oh I haven't been following any of the discussions on Twitter... 

 

I just think there's a lot of development in downtown Victoria in recent years and the pace has increased since I first arrived in the city in the 2000s. And there's definitely a lot in the pipeline too!


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#49 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 12 February 2022 - 11:45 AM

Public to weigh in on plan to replace Victoria’s Capitol 6 with 10-storey office building

 

Jawl Brothers’ redevelopment proposal advances many OCP goals for downtown spot: city staff

 

 

Several councillors said the application represents a strong economic signal for the future of the city’s core.

“To see yet another new office building coming forward for council’s consideration, I think is a strong vote of confidence in the future of downtown and the future of work and offices downtown,” said Mayor Lisa Helps.

 

Echoing that sentiment was Coun. Jeremy Loveday, though his support came with an acknowledgment of one of the site’s current tenants.

 

“I’d be remiss to not mention feeling a little sadness about the movie theatre and I think there would be many people in the community that would feel the same way.”

 

 

 

https://www.saanichn...ffice-building/


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 12 February 2022 - 11:45 AM.


#50 Mike K.

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Posted 13 February 2022 - 07:03 PM

Jawl Brothers’? Jawl Properties is the company behind this project, not Jawl Brothers. They may have confused Jawl with Jacob Bros.

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#51 Vin

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 01:46 PM

I love the Capital 6 building as well. Although not the most beautiful building around, it still has its own unique character which is actually quite pleasant to look at. Although the new building is a nice addition to downtown Victoria, I feel there are a lot more ugly structures and parking lots that can be replaced rather than the Capital 6 building.



#52 Fairbanks

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Posted 22 February 2022 - 12:09 PM

Can't wait to see that eyesore vanish from Blanshard.


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