Apartments would be built on top of commercial rental properties in Vic West

A rental building atop three commercial/industrial units would replace a large parking lot in the 400 block of Esquimalt Road in a development that will be considered by Victoria Council on Thursday.

The 85-unit Aryze development at 480 and 492 Esquimalt Rd. would bring much-needed rental housing to Vic West, according to the company.

Aryze manager Luke Mari noted that the city’s housing strategy review – which will also be discussed at the full council committee meeting on Thursday – notes that no rental units have been approved. for Vic West in 2021.

“We need rental housing all over the city,” he said. “We have a vacancy rate of 1% and we haven’t had a healthy vacancy rate in Victoria since 1996 when it went to 4%.

Mari noted that research has shown a direct correlation between affordability and vacancy rates. “Projects like this really advance many of the city’s housing goals.”

The six-story project on two separate buildings was first submitted to the city last fall, but was later revised in response to feedback from area residents, who raised concerns about parking in the neighborhood and how the design of the building would block the sun from neighboring houses.

Mari said there are now more underground car parks, as well as parking for a car-sharing service.

Regarding shading issues, Mari said in the original design, the building ran the full length of the property from east to west, whereas it is now split into two thinner structures that go from north to south, with a gap of 18 meters between them to allow sunlight. pass anyway.

“It’s a brand new project,” Mari said.

The building will have 25 studios, 30 one-bedroom units and 30 two-bedroom units with 62 parking spaces and short- and long-term bicycle parking. There is also 13,000 square feet of retail space at ground level.

Mari said if the planets align, they could start the project next summer with construction 18 months after that.

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