Mayor delighted Esquimalt Village Project moving ahead

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins has something to be excited about.

  • Oct. 22, 2015 8:00 p.m.

— Pamela Roth

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins has something to be excited about.

It’s been seven years in the making, but requests for proposals have finally been issued for the development of the Esquimalt Village Project (EVP), and shovels could be in the ground by the end of 2016.

“It feels awesome. It really has been a long process,” said Desjardins, adding the project will breath new life into the community.

“We’ve been told over and over this will be the catalyst for economic development in Esquimalt. There’s a lot of interest in Esquimalt right now so this will be just another way of bringing people in and emphasizing that this is a great place to live.”

Formerly the site of the public works yard and the original municipal hall, the property for the EVP is about 87,000 square feet in size and located adjacent to the municipal hall at 1229 Esquimalt Rd..  The vision calls for a lively and sustainable town centre that includes retail, residential and office space, along with a new education facility and library.

In the past, the development has included two multi-use component towers — one around 12 stories and another eight. Desjardins isn’t sure whether that’s something that will come forward again, but said council is willing to look at taller buildings if necessary.

Esquimalt hasn’t seen a lot of newer developments, but rather infill and townhouses instead. The township is well positioned to have more density, Desjardins added.

As for why the project has taken so long, Desjardins said there are a number of reasons. Throughout the last 15 to 20 years, numerous studies have been conducted about what to do with municipal properties, including the arena, Bullen Field, the public safety building and current town hall.

The process for the EVP began in 2005. Consultants were brought in with concept ideas, but council opted to focus on other properties instead. The focus shifted back in 2008 when there was a change in the economic climate, so ouncil started doing everything it could to get the property ready for a developer.

The site has since undergone a geotechnical analysis, an archaeological assessment and a survey to consolidate the site boundary. The township is also currently preparing a remediation plan for the site and expects to be able to provide a developer with a certificate of compliance from the Ministry of Environment.

In May, a request for expressions of interest was issued, which showed there was sufficient interest from the development community to proceed.

“This project has been chugging away in the background, but this council heard loud and clear we need this project to move forward,” said Desjardins, adding the EVP is a good news story for the community.

“The timing is right now. We’ve done a lot of background work, so I think that we’re better for the time that we’ve taken and the process we’ve taken.”

The deadline for submissions to the request for proposals is Dec. 10. At that time, council will review and consider all of the proposals and choose a partner that best responds to the needs of the community.

Once a selection is made, a comprehensive engagement process will be developed to give the public a variety of ways to provide input into shaping the final design.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria police investigate dumpster fire in gated alleyway

VicPD and Victoria Fire Department respond to fire on Johnson Street

Pacific FC signs 24-year-old defensive midfielder from Panama

González joins the roster following the team’s 2-2 tie game against York9 FC.

Pacific FC game ends with tie against York9 on Saturday

PFC’s defender scored an own goal off a deflection, putting the game at 2-2

Famed Syrian artist displays paintings created while living in refugee camps

Farid Abdulbaki’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ exhibit will be displayed May 24-26 in Victoria

Mighty Garage Sale offers boost to Metchosin groups

Metchosin Community Association holds annual sale on May 25 and 26

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Most Read