There are many great Real Estate developments in Victoria and area. One of those projects is called the Round House Project. A recent article in the Times Colonist by Kim Westad ( firstname.lastname@example.org )reads:
Roundhouse to keep history at centre of mixed-use project
The Roundhouse development could be a first for Victoria, with a working rail line and the historic buildings associated with it the centrepiece of a billion-dollar revamping of the Vic West site. If the plan is approved, the 4.25-hectare site just off Esquimalt Road at Catherine Street would become a mixed-use community of about 500 condos, a hotel, live-work studios, a food market, artisan studios and gallery, community space, public plaza, walkways, restaurant, brew pub and retail.“These are very early ideas, but they show the range of things we are talking about,” said Norm Hotson, the architect who is working with developer Ken Mariash on the project.Key to the development is the retention of the land’s history and ongoing use by E&N rail.The area north of the tracks is part of the rail/heritage side, while the area south of the tracks would be the new precinct, Hotson told a crowd of about 200 people at a Vic West Community Association meeting this week.Among the suggestions now are three condo buildings and one hotel, at 12, 16, 20 and 21 storeys respectively.They would be tiered, to create a “tall, elegant” look, Hotson said, with about 500,000-square-feet divided into 400 or 500 units. Lower, non-tiered buildings would create a massive wall, casting shadows on the public and historic spaces with little or no view of the other Songhees buildings.The total project would be approximately 800,000 square feet.
The condo and residential hotel would be light steel and glass, to contrast with the four historic rail buildings at the site. Although those buildings are designated a national historic site, some are in very poor condition. The roundhouse, the area where locomotives were stored, is now condemned.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to restore a piece of Canada’s history,” Hotson said.
Hal Kalman, a specialist in architectural history and planning is also working on the project. “It’s the best preserved yard and roundhouse complex in Canada. We’re delighted by this — it’s an enormous opportunity.”
Hotson was blunt about the need for development to offset the anticipated $40 million needed to clean up the soil and rehabilitate the historic buildings.
“The residential pays the freight,” he said. “It has to be a viable project or it will not proceed.”
The proposal seemed to get a receptive response. City regulations dictate that only people within 100 metres of the proposed project have to be notified of a public meeting, so it was mostly people from the Songhees who attended the meeting at the Ocean Pointe Resort.
However, given the size and significance of the project, Diane Carr, chair of the Vic West Community Association’s land use committee, said the entire Vic West community should have been notified.
A synopsis of the meeting will be sent to Victoria council, and is one of the things it will consider when deciding whether to send the proposal to a public hearing.
Carr will also take comments from residents for the next two weeks. They can be sent to email@example.com end of article.
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Anders Treiberg, Associate Broker, REALTOR®
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