Photographer Kelsey Goodwin leases space in the Duck’s Building at 1314 Broad St. She’s concerned she’ll lose her affordable rent if a redevelopment proposal by UVic Properties and Chard Development for the block is approved. Photo contributed

Downtown Victoria artists fear loss of affordable studio space with redevelopment

UVic proposal seeks redevelopment of a portion of Broad Street

When photographer Kelsey Goodwin struck out on her own, she couldn’t wait to start shooting couples on their special day.

Having graduated from the since-closed Western Academy of Photography in Victoria, she opened KGoodPhoto, specializing in wedding and commercial photography. But her photography dreams were quickly put on hold when Goodwin began searching for an affordable studio space where she could meet clients, shoot portraits and teach photography classes at a central location.

After a three-month search, she found a space in the historic Duck’s Building on Broad Street. But that space could now be in jeopardy with a development proposal in the works for that block.

“It worries me. It’s expensive to move and renovate a new space, and establish yourself at a new location,” Goodwin said, adding a number of her students and local photographers also use the 1,000-square-foot space.

“That’s the biggest worry, is finding (an equivalent) space for something that I can afford.”

UVic Properties, which manages the university’s real estate holdings, is partnering with Chard Development Ltd. to redevelop lots at 1312, 1314 and 1324 Broad St., as well as 615-625 Johnson Street.

The properties are part of the late Michael Williams’ donation to provide the university with long-term financial returns to support its academic mission.

The proposal calls for Chard to build a 52-unit market residential rental complex for student housing. In addition, Chard plans on renovating the Duck’s Building, built in 1892, to create 51 residential condos and commercial spaces. For artists renting space there such as Goodwin, it may mean a potential business move.

Other tenants in the building that the News contacted didn’t want to speak to the media, but said they’ll be following the development closely.

Peter Kuran, president of UVic Properties, said the project is still in its early stages. The proposal was scheduled to be presented at a community association land-use committee meeting this week and requires rezoning by the City of Victoria, a process that could take roughly a year to complete.

“We’ve got a lot of time to work with those tenants,” Kuran said, adding it could be roughly two years before construction begins. “(Chard Development) has been through these redevelopment opportunities many times before. We’re going to glean as much advice as we can from them and really work with tenants to find the best solution on either helping them find new space, or whatever that plan might be.”

As for Goodwin, she’s taking a wait-and-see approach before she makes the decision to move her business.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com

developmentUniversity of Victoria

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

Just Posted

Michael Friesen, 38, is a Caucasian man standing 6’1” and weighing approximately 220 pounds. (VicPD handout)
VicPD seeking man believed to be ‘actively evading police detection’

Michael Friesen wanted on an unendorsed warrant for various offences

A power outage is affecting over 1,500 people on the West Shore on the morning of Oct. 19. (BC Hydro)
Over 1,500 people without power due to early morning West Shore crash

Some delays on Sooke Road as BC Hydro crews repair damage

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Greater Victoria in high-demand on website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Saanich police are warning residents to be aware of a non-aggressive bear sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace. (Black Press Media file photo)
Non-aggressive bear spotted in Saanich neighbourhood

Saanich police advise residents to be aware of sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is warning customers of a confirmed case of COVID-19 on WestJet flight 195 from Calgary into Victoria on Oct. 11. Passengers seated between rows one and seven should self-minotor for symptoms for the next 14 days. (Black Press Media file photo)
Confirmed COVID case on WestJet flight day after previous exposure on same route

BCCDC warning passengers seated in rows one to seven on WestJet flight 195 on Oct. 11 into Victoria

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. suburbs could see increased demand for rental units as people work from home

Vancouver’s average monthly rent is the highest out of 35 cities across Canada

Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin (B.C. Conservative Party)
BC Conservatives leader fights back after BC Liberals leak 2018 workplace harassment case

Sexual harassment case was connected to employee being terminated, WorkSafeBC found

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Buy a boat,’ Horgan advises anti-maskers on BC Ferries

NDP leader John Horgan talks COVID-19 misinformation

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Alberni. (News Bulletin file photo)
UPDATE: More sailings cancelled after ferry breaks down

Queen of Alberni out of commission, BC Ferries revises schedules

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Family devastated as search for missing Manning Park hiker suspended

‘It was an extremely difficult meeting with the parents when we had to tell them.’

Most Read