A $41-million development that would transform a section of Esquimalt Road into two 12-storey residential towers is three documents away from final approval.
Reaction to the proposal was mixed during the public hearing portion of an Esquimalt council meeting last week. Some residents felt the towers – which would be Esquimalt’s tallest – would rejuvenate the 850-block of Esquimalt Rd., where a pub, liquor store and bottle depot now sit.
Others worried the development would impact their view, create problems during construction and bring more traffic.
“I actually have a lovely view right now,” said Kathy Ironmonger, a neighbouring condo owner, who said the sheer size of the development would impact neighbourhood site lines.
But council moved the project forward. Next steps include property owner, Cambie Malone’s Corp., agreeing to pay for any changes to township infrastructure to make way for the project.
Council will then need to give final approval before a development permit can be issued. That likely won’t happen until at least mid-December, in large part due to the election, said Barbara Snyder, Esquimalt’s director of development services.
So far, there is no fixed start date for construction, but the plan calls for one 88-unit residential tower with ground-floor commercial space, four townhouses and separate live-work units. The second 80-unit residential tower would have 11 attached townhouses.
Some on council said the residences come at an ideal time since hundreds of new employees will soon be hired at Esquimalt-based Victoria Shipyards to help build $8 billion worth of federal ships.
“In order to grow, we need density,” said Coun. Don Linge.