The old gravel pit on Allandale Road in Colwood is being reinvented through a major development designed to attract new businesses and create more employment in the community.
The 20-acre property, located on both sides of Veterans Memorial Parkway and Allandale Road, has been inactive for many years.
Omicron, one of Canada’s largest integrated development, design and construction firms, is proposing to develop four parcels of land under the Mixed-Use Employment Centre designation created when Colwood adopted its new official community plan in 2018. The project, called the Allandale District, is in partnership with Lotus Capital Corporation, a Vancouver-based real estate investment, asset and development company.
Peter Laughlin, director of Omicron for Vancouver Island and project lead, said Allandale District fits in well with Colwood’s vision to create more balance and diversity between residential taxes and commercial and industrial taxes. Omicron has been working on the project for about 18 months.
Laughlin said the City of Colwood has been “outstanding to work with,” especially considering the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been a real collaborative effort. The old gravel pit has been sitting there for a significant number of years, so there are real environmental benefits to utilizing that land without encroaching on existing green areas.”
Allandale District would also create employment that enables people to live in the community they work in, reducing the number of daily commuters, Laughlin said. That’s noteworthy considering regional transportation limitations and the West Shore’s growing reputation as a desirable place for families, he noted.
|A map outlines the lots and proposed uses for Allandale District in Colwood. (Contributed by Omicron)|
Rezoning for two parcels fall within the new zoning, and the proponents have applied to have a Ford dealership on another lot. The Mixed-Use Employment Centres designation allows for a wide range of uses, including commercial, institutional, live-work homes, and light industrial within low-rise, ground-oriented buildings of up to six storeys. There is no residential development planned within the four lots, Laughlin said.
The proponents plan to make a development permit application Aug. 24 for approximately 80,000 sq. ft. of industrial space in lot A, which would be occupied by a single tenant. “That will be a fairly major announcement. I think the community will be very excited about,” Laughlin said.
The widening of Veterans Memorial Parkway, upgrades to Allandale Road, construction of multi-use paths and making the intersection at Allandale and Veterans Memorial Parkway fully controlled are improvements included in the project’s plans. Work is expected to start by spring of 2021.
Although an open house on the project was hosted earlier this year, public consultation has been limited recently due to COVID restrictions and has shifted to online sources of information. Colwood will consider inquiries in advance of the Aug. 24 regular meeting of council. Visit colwood.ca for more information. For project details, see omicronaec.com/project/allandaledistrict.