Nearly two years since purchasing the boarded-up Northern Junk buildings, Jon Stovell of Reliance Properties presents his second proposal for the property at the foot of of the Johnson Street Bridge on Thursday.
The proposal features a rehabilitation of the two heritage buildings, flanked by four new buildings up to five storeys in height, including 14,600 square feet of commercial and 56 residential units.
It offers a waterfront public plaza and connection to the harbour pathway. These public amenities, however, must be weighed against two drawbacks.
First, the development site sits on land designated for parks and open space.
Second, the density proposed in higher than that outlined in Victoria’s Harbour Plan.
Hugh Kruzel, who sits on the board of the Downtown Residents’ Association, says he personally feels the development respects the nature and need of the site.
“I think that in our city we say no too often to developers and then have holes that linger long,” he wrote in an email to the News.
“I could point to too many elements on streetscape that are parking lots or empty lots. I would not accept development with no strings, but we will stagnate and become a poor cousin if we continue to reject offers and options.”
City staff recommend contracting a third-party economic analysis to ensure the value of the proposed public amenities is in line with the value of the increased density requested by the developer.