Standing Stone Developments has switched its Corvette Landing project from a condo to a rental development. (corvettelanding.com)

Mass-timber project in Esquimalt switches from condos to rentals

Corvette Landing will now offer rental units in the area

An Esquimalt development is switching from a condominium to a rental project, even after pre-sales began.

Corvette Landing at 669 Constance Ave. is proposed to be Vancouver Island’s first mass-timber building. The 12-storey, 83-unit development would include seven studios, 27 one-bedroom plus den units, 43 two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units. Ten of these units would also to be accessible units, plus commercial space on the ground floor. These units would be specifically designed for people who are blind, in wheelchairs, have upper-body prosthetics or suffer from PTSD.

ALSO READ: Esquimalt council green-lights first mass-timber building on Vancouver Island

In December, however, Standing Stone Developments decided to switch the project from a condominium complex to a rental complex.

“There’s a much bigger need for rentals in the area,” said Casey O’Byrne, developer at Standing Stone in an initial phone call with Black Press Media.

Pre-sales for the project began in the spring, but O’Byrne said any units sold were to larger investors.

Several follow up calls and emails to Standing Stone were not returned, however the business did put in a notice to the Township of Esquimalt about the proposed changes.

“The project experienced a slow up-take in sales,” a report reads. “The project will need to revisit a few of the elements that were originally planned and this may require the project to come back to council for approval due to the elements that need to be changed.”

Elements being reviewed include the number of parking levels, the number and size of storage lockers (they will become smaller), a change to the penthouse which would become rental property and “some construction elements [which] will be amended to reflect rental properties versus condo properties” such as solid core doors versus corrugated doors.

READ MORE: Esquimalt development a game changer for accessibility

The project will remain a mass-timber project with the same 1:1 parking ratio and a similar exterior design.

It is unclear if the same accessible units will still be available as rental units.

Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins was told by Standing Stone that they were having challenges with the pre sales of one and two-bedroom condo units.

“They, as you can see, are working on the rejigger and it will need to come to council,” Desjardins said in an email. “At what point in the process they can start would be a staff question and I think they hope to be here in the next few months.”

A date has not been set for when alternative plans will come to council.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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