A new affordable housing development that would be the tallest mass timber building on Vancouver Island might be coming to the Colwood Corners area.
The Greater Victoria Housing Society has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Colwood for a building planned to be up to 15 stories. The application for for the land at 85 Belmont Road and 1901 Jerome Rd. adjacent to the London Drugs building.
The project would have over 100 units with a range aimed at housing low to moderate income seniors and families.
Kaye Melliship, executive director of the Greater Victoria Housing Society, said they are hoping it will be “an environmentally sustainable building that will be a zero carbon dioxide emission building.” They are also hoping to lower utility bills for tenants.
Prefabricated mass timber panels will be used to build the tower. According to Sukh Johal of the Canadian Wood Council, the mass timber product replaces concrete and conventional wood construction.
“The base material is sourced from sustainable managed B.C. forests and is factory fabricated and can therefore be installed quicker and quieter compared to conventional framing practices,” Johal said.
The development site will also include a 180-stall outdoor bicycle pavillion and a surface parking lot for the tenants. Plans for a second building of similar size would also be possible in the future.
“Ultimately, the decision to design a mass timber tower stemmed from costing, land use and environmental implications,” Melliship said. “The building will be designed to the highest level of the BC Energy Step Code … and will provide much needed affordable rental housing for seniors and families in the City of Colwood.”