Lyra’s two eight-storey buildings are due to be completed in 2018 and 2019, bringing a total of 77 suites onto the market.                                Lyra Residences rendering

Lyra’s two eight-storey buildings are due to be completed in 2018 and 2019, bringing a total of 77 suites onto the market. Lyra Residences rendering

Lyra condos offer big views from Christmas Hill

Condos now for sale nine years after Saanich approved them

There are few condos set in the pristine Garry oak ecosystems of Saanich.

Nine years since the project was originally approved by Saanich council, Lyra’s first of two of eight-storey buildings, with two levels of underground parking, is under construction.

As for sales, 27 of the first building’s 39 suites have sold with a move-in date targeted for September 2018. Sales are now open for the second building, with 38 suites, and a completion date of June 2019.

Recessed from McKenzie Avenue at the base of Christmas Hill, Lyra has unbeatable views from its 400-square-foot balconies (with some up to 800 square feet).

With the exception of the top floors, all the units are two bedrooms, two bathrooms and range in size from 1,050 to 1,200 square feet.

Four suites are for sale online for $589,900 (third floor, 1,200 sq. ft.), $639,900 and $719,900 (1,130 sq. ft.), and a 1,215-square-foot penthouse at $979,900.

For the big spenders, the only grand penthouse is for sale, a 1,568 sq. ft. unit atop the first phase, selling for $1.5 million. It includes a rooftop patio area in addition to its balcony.

“The views are panoramic, ranging from Mount Baker and the Olympic Mountains, to the Sooke Hills, the north of the Peninsula, the Gulf Islands and the top of Vic Derman Park,” said Mike Cronquist, project manager.

Lyra’s two mid-rise buildings were initially approved as the third phase of a project by Aplomado Developments, which constructed 12 single family custom homes followed by 27 hillside townhouses. The homes were approved by Saanich council in 2007 along with the plans for the Lyra project.

But the condos were delayed and Aplomado regrouped, partnered with Marker Group to create Lyra Residences Ltd., and design Lyra. Well known Victoria architectural firm de Hoog and Kierulf was brought on to maximize the local understanding of the geography, Cronquist said.

“What really separates this project is the natural setting,” Cronquist said. “For a multi-family project within a mature oak forest, it’s unique. The outdoor living space is significant, with large balconies in a mature oak forest, access to Vic Derman Park, Christmas Hill and the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.”

Access to Lyra is off Rainbow Hill Lane, a new strata road built by Aplomado for the single-family housing portion of the development.

Marker Group’s last project was the Meridian residences in Sidney, a 24 multi-family unit project that stands five storeys with one live-work unit.

reporter@saanichnews.com