Another downtown property is slated for renewal and Concert Properties, the developer behind the renovation and repurposing of the old Queen Victoria Hotel, is the driving force behind the new project.
Concert is no stranger to the James Bay neighbourhood. In 2012 it bought the old Queen Victoria Hotel and gave new life to the property with the construction of The Q apartment complex, which opened in 2014.
Concert’s new plans are for a $75-million, 15 storey mixed-use complex that incorporates some commercial use on the ground floor and is designed to accommodate the burgeoning seniors market within Victoria.
“We were always looking for a perfect location for our next project,” said Dean Johnson, Concert Properties’ development manager. “When the Crystal Court Motel property came available, we jumped at it.”
Johnson said his company was looking for the perfect location for a seniors’ independent living complex to augment similar projects that they’ve already completed in Toronto and Vancouver. He said the location of such developments is critical as they need to be accessible and ‘walkable’ for residents who are in search of downtown living.
Located at 701 Bellville Street, the proposed development will include a total of 173 units, of which 42 will be condos ranging from 815 square feet to over 1,050 square-feet. Another 131 rental units will include a variety of units, including studio apartments as compact as 400 square-feet to two bedroom, 850 square foot units. All the units will target at Victoria’s senior population.
“We’re not just building condos and apartments,” said Johnson. “Our development is designed to be a community where friendships are made and social interaction of residents is an integral part of the lifestyle.”
Concert has incorporated plans for a 3,500 square- foot restaurant on the corner of Belleville and Douglas streets. There are also plans for common areas, program facilities, fitness and multi-purpose areas and other amenities designed to facilitate the feeling of community within the complex.
While the property purchase is complete, it will be some time before shovels hit the ground.
“We want to ensure that we’re very respectful of the community,” said Johnson. “We’ve had over a year of consultation to date with groups like the James Bay Neighbourhood Association and we’ll be continuing that approach as part of the approval process.”
Johnson said he doesn’t want to presume anything as to when the project will be approved or when work will start, but anticipates that the process will go smoothly.
“We’ve had a fantastic experience so far working in Victoria, and I think that our respectful approach will go a long way to continue that experience,” he added.
Future public meetings on the project have not yet been scheduled.