The Township of Esquimalt has passed a proposed six-storey rental development onto its second reading.
The Admirals Apartment is a 50-unit complex that will take over the space at 681 and 685 Admirals Rd. Campbell River-based developer WestUrban Developments put forward the project and offered several amenities in a covenant to make the proposal more enticing. These included ensuring that it remains a rental complex, a promise of three, three-bedroom units, access to a Modo carshare program, a one-year BC Transit pass and an electric vehicle charging station.
However, council felt that the building’s design and location did not make a three-bedroom unit – fit into an 800 sq. ft. space – practical or desirable.
“It’s on a really busy street with no parks nearby,” said Coun. Meagan Brame. “If you wanted to take out the three-bedroom units and put something else in I’d be okay with that.”
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins echoed Brame’s position.
“This is clearly a workforce housing, not family housing, so perhaps the three-bedroom units are not required,” Desjardins said.
Council also discussed the parking density of the project, which currently has 44 spots for 50 units, with an additional two guest spots and one electric vehicle spot.
Several councillors were unhappy without a one-to-one ration, while others, including Desjardins, argued that a working force demographic, especially CFB Esquimalt workers, may not all have cars.
Regardless, WestUrban Developments was asked if the number of units could be brought down to match the number of parking spots.
“Certainly we can look at reducing the number of bedrooms, I don’t see a big issue with that,” said Frank Limshue, development manager. “With respect to the number of units, it really comes down to the math … it comes down to revenue versus costs. That’s something I’ll have to take a closer look at. “
The project passed its first reading and still needs to go through the Township’s design panel for a development permit before going through its second and third readings.
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