While the Capitol 6 Theatres site could soon be redeveloped, its name will likely live on.
At the Feb. 3 committee of the whole meeting, councillors voted to advance to public hearing a proposal by Victoria-based Jawl Properties for a downtown, 10-storey office and commercial building. The development, named Capitol VI, would be built along Blanshard Street between Yates and View streets.
The ground floor would have five commercial spaces facing Yates and Blanshard streets, and a 144-stall underground parking garage accessible from View Street.
The proposed building’s ground floor frontages would be set back from Blanshard and View streets to make room for widened sidewalks. The design was shifted back by the applicant to maintain views of the St. Andrews Cathedral spire. Some design elements and materials also aim to complement the structure of the church, a heritage landmark.
The proposal seeks height and density rezoning, but is consistent with the area’s allowances under the Official Community Plan, according to a staff report. It would also be on a block that consists of high-density apartment buildings of similar stature. Staff said a few minor setback infringements are mitigated by the proposed structure’s overall design, scale and north-south orientation.
The report stated the project also aligns with many OCP goals for the location by promoting job growth in the Capital Region’s economic hub, supporting active transportation through the creation of a separated bike lane along Yates Street, and by seeking to have the structure exceed energy efficiency and climate change goals.
To go along with the cycling route, the proposal includes 145 bike storage spots, along with shower and change room facilities on the ground floor. Five municipal trees would need to be removed, but the proposal includes adding 31 trees to the site.
Several councillors said the application represents a strong economic signal for the future of the city’s core.
“To see yet another new office building coming forward for council’s consideration, I think is a strong vote of confidence in the future of downtown and the future of work and offices downtown,” said Mayor Lisa Helps.
Echoing that sentiment was Coun. Jeremy Loveday, though his support came with an acknowledgment of one of the site’s current tenants.
“I’d be remiss to not mention feeling a little sadness about the movie theatre and I think there would be many people in the community that would feel the same way.”
No date has yet been set for the public hearing.
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