Victoria’s Janion building targeted for redevelopment

New owner also plans development for Northern Junk property across Johnson Street

The interior staircase of the Janion building

The interior staircase of the Janion building

After 35 years of sitting vacant, the Janion building will be restored.

On Monday, Jon Stovell of Reliance Properties announced the details of his purchase of the decaying historic building at 1612-1614 Store St., as well as waterfront property behind the building that is owned by Transport Canada.

“This morning we wrote to the city and withdrew the demolition permit application that was submitted by the previous owner,” said Stovell to a burst of applause.

He plans to rehabilitate the building to feature ground-floor retail and live-work studios. He also plans to build “well over” 100 so-called microlofts – small, self-contained and relatively affordable units.

Stovell said he was eyeing the Janion before he purchased the historic Northern Junk buildings on the other side of the Johnson Street Bridge in 2010. The deal wasn’t economical, however, until he secured the waterfront land from Transport Canada.

That parcel is zoned for a similar level of development as the Janion property and Stovell said he does not intend to submit a rezoning application for more density.

To make the development viable, he is counting on securing a property tax exemption under the city’s program for heritage restorations.

Project architect Paul Merrick called it a “special day.”

“We’ve all, for years, watched this old dear continue to exist and hoped for the best,” he said. “Today we begin on that dream of renewal.”

One big question yet to be answered is the future of the David Foster Way.

In late May, the city unveiled the new name for the harbourfront walkway at a star-studded ceremony. The walkway currently stretches from Ogden Point to the Johnson Street Bridge, running adjacent to the waterfront along most sections. The city hopes to continue the walkway all the way to Rock Bay.

Stovell, however, said he’s yet to have this conversation with the city.

“That’s also an open discussion … whether the waterfront walkway will turn up to the street at that point or even if there is an aspiration to continue on to the north along the water,” he said.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Historic structure

• The Janion building dates to 1891 and was used as a hotel for two years before being converted into the headquarters for the E&N Railway.

• The building is 15,000 square feet, plus basement. It features high ceilings, open staircases and fireplaces in some rooms.

• A analysis of the building has found that it has three layers of brick and is structurally sound, despite its outward appearance of decay.

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

Just Posted

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

The WHL’s Victoria Royals will compete in a 24-game season starting March 26, <strong></strong>based out of a Kamloops and Kelowna B.C. division bubble (Kevin Light/Courtesy Victoria Royals)
‘Important to cherish every moment’: Victoria Royals not taking bubble season for granted

The Victoria WHL team’s coach and GM calls the season a ‘privilege,’ expects fierce rivalries

The Victoria Fire Department was able to contain a fire to one room after a bed placed directly against a heater ignited. (Black Press Media file photo)
Early morning Victoria balcony fire causes $20,000 in damages

Victoria Fire Department said nobody was injured in the fire on View Street

Postmark Group, an Edmonton-based development firm, bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year, and is reaching out to the community and local groups for feedback before they begin planning the designs for the development. (Photo contributed/Postmark Group)
Waterfront village development eyed for Sooke

Postmark Group development firm bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Most Read