UVic Properties and Chard Development partnered on a proposal to redevelop 1312, 1314 and 1324 Broad Street, as well as 615-625 Johnson Street into student housing and condos. Plans have now switched to focus on a hotel development (Black Press Media File Photo)

University of Victoria scraps student housing plan, opts for hotel instead

UVic originally planned 59 units for grad students at a proposed Broad Street development

Graduate students will have to make alternative plans for housing after the University of Victoria scrapped the idea to build student housing in downtown Victoria.

A 2017 development proposal for the buildings at 1312, 1314 and 1324 Broad Street, as well as 615-625 Johnson Street was slated to house 59 units reserved for graduate students, as well as 104 market-level condos and several retail spaces. Now, however, UVic Properties and partnering developer, Chard Development have proposed to instead convert the properties into a hotel.

“Since the first proposal we’ve heard a lot of things that we could do better,” said Peter Kuran, CEO and president of UVic Properties. “Among other things, the question came up if we really had to sell the land; were there other options?”

The properties were donated to the University of Victoria by the late Michael Williams in 2000, who wished to add to the vibrancy of the city while ensuring the school had ongoing financial returns.

READ MORE: UVic Properties charts ambitious course for off-campus holdings

Building a hotel would follow with both of these priorities, Kuran said.

“This gives us something we can really feel proud of, and that Michael Williams would feel proud of too.”

Another contributor to the switch came when the province donated $200 million to UVic in November 2018 to build 620 new on-campus beds for students.

“This opens up a lot of options for students, and also to the surrounding community,” Kuran said.

On-campus beds are reserved for undergraduate students, but Kuran argued that if more undergrads move on-campus, more off-campus units would become available for graduate students.

ALSO READ: High housing costs in Greater Victoria are forcing university students into suburb

The first public meeting in regards to the hotel was held at the City of Victoria’s Community Association Land Use Committee on May 14, and received mostly positive feedback from local business owners.

Now that feedback will be taken into account before UVic Properties and Chard Development submit a rezoning and development permit application to the City. So far, early plans hope to keep the outward facade of the buildings including that of the heritage Ducks Building, which was built in 1892.

Shovels are likely to hit the ground for the project in 2021.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

UVic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

MISSING: High-risk woman last seen on May 25

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Jennifer Daughinee-Mendelson

Playgrounds back in the swing of things on the West Shore

Langford, View Royal, Colwood reopen parks, playgrounds

Black bear sighting reported on UVic campus

University urging residents in the area to be careful

Parkland grads mark end to high school in virtual ceremony

North Saanich grads pre-tape graduation ceremony days before school officially reopened

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

End of an Era: Tofino hair studio closes shop

“We were getting excited to start ramping up and then all of sudden we had to close our doors.”

Most Read