Renderings of the proposed hotel that would go along the 700-block of Fort Street and the 1100-block of Blanshard Street, along with the winter garden that would sit on the south corner of the project. (Provided by David Fullbrook)

Blanshard Block developer aims to complete heritage, tower project without displacing current tenants

Community members commend the move at public meeting on Wednesday night

It was a full house at a community meeting centered around a proposed redevelopment of properties along the 700-block of Fort Street and the 1100-block of Blanshard Street on Wednesday evening.

The project, brought forward by Merchant House Capital and dubbed the ‘Blanshard Block,’ would see a triangular-shaped tower that would house a number of residential suites, a winter garden, a hotel and a restaurant or bar.

David Fullbrook, CEO of Merchant House Capital, told the room of more than two dozen community members about the inspiration behind the project and his love of the Montrose apartment building — “the jewel of the project.”

The site was acquired by Merchant House Capital about a year ago, and in that time a number of smaller-scale renovations have taken place to upgrade several of the residential suites in an aim to preserve and protect the original building, which Fullbrook wants to have designated as a heritage building.

RELATED: High-rise hotel proposed for downtown Victoria location

One of the main draws of the project, that received a number of compliments from those in the audience, is the fact that the developers will undertake the whole project while keeping all the commercial and residential tenants. Currently, the site is occupied by a Monk Office, the Self-Heal Herbal Center, Elder Chiropractic, Chimoto, Italian Food Imports, Guitar Plus, Better Choice Staffing and residential units in the top two floors of the heritage-registered Montrose apartment building.

When pressed further on how exactly this would happen, Fullbrook stated that the aim was to renovate a block of space, have tenants move into those suites and then renovate the newly-empty suites.

READ ALSO: Times Colonist building to get a facelift

Another big attraction of the project is a winter garden that would be shared between hotel guests, residential tenants and the public. The winter garden would sit inside the south-facing corner of Blanshard Street and Fort Street, which Fullbrook said was inspired by the need for something “grand” in that space.

The high-rise triangular tower won’t have balconies so as not to get in the way of the view of the St. Andrew’s Cathedral spire. The project got some pushback on the addition of two floors, making it 18 to 20 storeys high. Residents cited concerns of economic viability.

The Blanshard Block would see three levels of parking underground, with room on the second and third floor for smaller specialty office spaces. The fourth floor would house a restaurant or bar and the hotel – in the triangular-shaped tower – is meant to have an “AirBnB” feel, allowing those who travel to the city on business to be where the locals are.

The timeline of the project remains unclear, but Fullbrook estimates it will be about two years before scaffolding would go up.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of VictoriaHeritage

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Two-vehicle crash in Langford sends one to hospital Monday morning

Driver sent to hospital with unspecified injuries

Victoria Canadian Forces member honored with exceptional Rotary Club award

Capt. Jacqueline Zweng is the Western Canada Ambassador of Wounded Warriors Canada

Oak Bay athletes rule the slopes at Island ski and snowboard series

Oak Bay boys take top ski, snowboard honours

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

Most Read