A rendering of the Tallwoods project. (Courtesy Design Build Services)

First tall wood building on Vancouver Island breaks ground in Langford

A dozen storeys on the way

Rick Stiebel

News Staff

Ceremonial shovels went into the ground Wednesday for a project that reaches for the sky.

Tallwood 1 at District 56 is part of a mixed use complex on Peatt Road that will include the first 12-storey tall wood building on Vancouver Island, said Mathew McKay, founder and director of development for Design Build Services, the company behind the project.

District 56 will consist of three towers of residential and commercial components on 10 former mostly residential parcels of land on Peatt Road between Goldstream and Hockley avenues.

We’re excited about breaking ground for Tallwood 1,” McKay said. “Tall wood building are fast becoming the sustainable choice for eco-minded builders around the world.” The project will create more than 200 jobs over the next five years, he noted. “We’re looking for partners for the commercial component to create a great mix of cafes, restaurants and retail.”

Design Build Services founder Gary Lahnsteiner said the vision for Terminus, the first phase, is to build a district where people can live, work and play in an environment with amenities that enhance the work life balance of families. Terminus will include four storeys of commercial and Tallwood 1 will have 120 rental units. A brew pub component is at the top of his wish list, he added with a laugh.

READ ALSO: Not-for-profit rental apartments proposed for View Royal

The name Terminus was chosen because of how train terminals in many European cities are the focal point on the community, and because of Langford’s historic connection to rail, he explained.

One of the benefits of this type of project is the environmental benefits because mass timber traps carbon in the building, Lahnsteiner noted. “It also allows us to get the buildings to market quicker.”

Ron McDougall, mass timber specialist with Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation, called it a historic day for the city of Langford and Design Build Services. The company has done more than 700 major projects across North America since cross-laminated timber first came to market. “It’s clean, safe, quiet construction that reduces carbon,” McDougall said.

Langford Mayor Stew Young said the project is in keeping with Langford’s forestry town roots, and the use of timber will help create more jobs in the forestry industry. “It’s important to look to the future when creating jobs,” he said.

McKay expects Terminus to be completed by the end of 2020, and Tallwood 1 to be finished by the end of 2021.

Phase three will be either residential or commercial or a mix of both, depending on market demand.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

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