West Bay development plan unveiled

A large-scale development is in the works that would transform a section of the West Bay neighbourhood of Esquimalt.

Residents at Monday night’s committee of the whole meeting crowded around a three-dimensional model for their first glimpse of a proposed development of two parcels of land at the end of Head Street.

Esquimalt lawyer and property owner Mark Lindholm’s plan includes constructing a 10-storey, 70-unit residential condominium, including two levels of underground parking and a retail commercial building on a triangular block of land at the foot of Head Street.

There are also plans to establish a six-storey mix of 48 condo units and 48 hotel suites overlooking Hidden Harbour at West Bay Marina, with a new restaurant attached. The design also calls for a seaside office building and retail commercial space. The West Bay Marina and RV park would remain as is.

At the meeting, council rejected Lindholm’s request to permanently close off the south end of Head Street. The road-closure application proposed that Head and Lyall streets no longer connect, while Gore Street would be realigned at one end to meet Lyall Street at a right angle.

By acquiring a section of Head Street, owned by the municipality, Lindholm said he could connect his two properties, but admitted it wasn’t absolutely critical to his project.

“I think this really has possibilities,” said Coun. Lynda Hundleby, “but I don’t think we’re ready.”

Council preferred to see finished plans of the of the proposed development and public input before making a decision, said Coun. Don Linge.

West Bay residents and business owners expressed traffic congestion concerns in a February meeting on the road closure issue.

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