When Robert Jawl looks at the Capital Park development behind the legislature, he envisions a dynamic, sustainable mixed-use community.
The project is inching closer to achieving that goal.
Since construction began in 2015 on the 6.2-acre property bordered by Menzies, Superior and Michigan streets, work on this retail, office space, rental housing and public space development has been moving full steam ahead and is on schedule, Jawl said.
“We’re looking forward to the full completion of the project so that the various mixed-use components function as a collective unit and create the vital and dynamic community that we’ve set out to achieve,” he said.
“Phase one is a major step in that direction. We’re looking forward to getting moving with the components of the project so the initial vision can be fully realized.”
Partners Jawl Development Corp. and Concert Properties expect the first phase of the project, including a government office building with ground floor retail space at 525 Superior St., to be complete by September.
Work is also moving along on a 53-unit residential component with street-level retail at 355 Menzies St. Tenants can expect to move in in October.
Amenities are starting to take shape for James Bay residents as well. The Greater Victoria Public Library’s neighbourhood branch and the Red Barn Market grocery store are making interior improvements to the building over the next five months and are slated to open in January.
Phase two includes a second office building and a central public plaza, which will be a landscaped gathering space with outdoor seating, public artwork and a cafe. Construction is expected to begin in the fall.
Phase 2B, as Jawl referred to it, will commence further down the road. He anticipates submitting a development permit application in the coming months to the City of Victoria, for construction of three residential buildings along Michigan Street. Pending approval, his hope is for construction to begin in spring 2018.
The overall project has been on the books for some time. The province and the city agreed to establish a vision and plan for Capital Park and other small parcels of land located behind the legislature, which would include community amenities such as a library, as set out in the 1994 Victoria Accord.
The province put the property on the market in 2013 and Jawl Developments and Concert Properties purchased it for $34 million. In March 2015, Victoria city council gave unanimous approval to the development.