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Victoria’s next council to decide Harris Green Village proposal’s future

Plans include approximately 1,600 rental units, park space

A plan for two blocks in the Harris Green neighbourhood will face the public in November.

Starlight Developments’ Harris Green Village redevelopment in Victoria looks to bring approximately 1,600 rental units, commercial area and public space to the Yates Street properties stretching from Quadra to Cook streets. The proposal would replace the entire 900-block of Yates Street and the current car dealership property on the eastern half of the 1000-block.

A public hearing will be held in early November, after council voted not to hold it before the Oct. 15 municipal election. Councillors in favour of the delay noted the implications of considering such a large application in an election period, while those opposed said council openly set its yearly schedule and it has the duty to vote on items that fall within its term.

If approved, construction would occur over several phases. The highest points of the development’s towers would max out at 32 storeys in the 900-block and 21 on the 1000-block. Starlight’s plans said the reinvigorated area would cater to the diversity of the neighbourhood and augment its role as a vibrant living and meeting place.

The tower-on-podium designs will make for pedestrian-scaled blocks and allow sunlight into courtyards and public spaces, the developer said. The proposal also envisions corner plazas, greenery emphasized in the design and will have a public park stretch between Yates and View streets in the 900-block. Its housing would range from studios to three-bedroom units.

The first phase looks to transform the property at the corner of Yates and Cook streets, beside two existing residential towers on the block, with 526 rental apartments. At least five per cent of the units across all phases will be accessible.

Based on council’s direction, current tenants will be given the right to return at their previous rent (with allowable provincial rent increases) and will have their moving expenses covered.

Council last fall asked the developer to include at least 40 affordable units in phase one and another 40 in the next two phases. However, Starlight has committed to providing 80 affordable units in phase one. Sixty-four will be studios and the other 16 will be split evenly between one- and three-bedroom units.

Based on the city’s current median income level for renters, as defined in Victoria’s housing strategy, the monthly cost for an affordable studio in the development would currently be $880, a one-bedroom would go for $1,060 and the three-bedroom would run tenants $1,770.

Altogether, the sites would have approximately 1,291 vehicle and 2,125 bike parking stalls.

READ: Victoria council to hear developer’s counter on Harris Green rental housing proposal Follow us on Instagram. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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