Two developers are teaming up to tackle the Royal Beach development, the 130-acre waterfront project east of Metchosin Road in Colwood.
Seacliff Properties, which bought the land in 2017, has signed a deal to be 50-50 partners with Reliance Properties, which has undertaken various projects in downtown Victoria. The two look to jointly spend $1.2 billion redeveloping the former quarry lands and propose to build 2,850 residential homes – a mix of single-family houses, townhomes and apartments – as well as 47 acres of parkland and commercial developments.
“It’s a big financial investment,” said Georgia Desjardins, director of development with Seacliff Properties. “I think each developer has their own strengths and Reliance Properties is a really well known company with a great track record. They have a tremendous eye for architecture and I think all of those skills are really going to add to the expertise of bringing this project to life.”
Reliance Properties president/CEO Jon Stovell said the project will provide 700 jobs a year over the lifetime of the project, which is estimated at 15 years.
Construction is set to start in spring on the Metchosin Road and Latoria Road intersection, which acts as an entrance to the area. A projected date for bringing initial design plans to council has yet to be announced.
The project, along with several others underway in the area such as Royal Bay on the west side of Metchosin Road, is expected to create high-paying, quality jobs, pointed out Colwood Mayor Rob Martin.
“We’re expecting that we’re going to be attracting major employers into our area, so they’re going to be higher-paying jobs,” he said. “It’s going to have the whole spectrum. This is not about creating minimum wage jobs.”
The city needs to work on its transportation plan to ensure the developments are successful, Martin added. That plan aims to include a ferry from downtown Victoria to the Royal Beach area. The mayor is in talks with B.C. Transportation Minister Rob Fleming and hopes to see money for a feasibility study in the province’s upcoming budget. The development will include space in its design for a potential ferry terminal, Desjardins said.
The area continues to be a busy construction zone, with Colwood council recently approving a rezoning bylaw to allow development to begin on commercial and residential elements of Royal Bay, including a new seniors care facility.
“I really have this vision,” said Martin. “We’ll have the ferry here, we’ll have hopefully a couple hotels that will go down the boardwalk, we’re looking at over a two-kilometre boardwalk, which will take you right to Esquimalt Lagoon. It’s going to be a huge place to come down here to experience life … you’re going to be proud to bring your family and friends into this community.”