An applicant seeking to bring 266 rental units to downtown Victoria will attempt to push through with the 19-story proposal despite design issues reported by the city.
Nelson Investments hopes to turn what is currently a 45-car parking lot at 937 View St. into a residential tower. The building would include studios and one-bedroom apartments for rent between $1,400 and $1,800 at the time of its construction.
Councilors in Victoria will receive their first presentation of the proposal on Thursday, with Nelson Investments deciding to have its plans reviewed despite city staff recommending the project be rejected.
The building was originally designed as a 14-story structure and despite revisions in recent years, staff said there are still design features that do not meet city guidelines for location.
The tower would be located between the observation towers and an approved six-story building to the east that has yet to be constructed. The site is currently zoned up to 10 stories (with commercial space on the ground floor), so the proposal requires variances for its height.
This height would have adverse effects on shading, skyline views, and access to sunlight, and having 19 stories right next to the View Towers building would exacerbate these negative effects, a said the staff. The building’s shadow would also fall on a public plaza developed as part of the Harris Green Village proposal, which would be located across the street to the north if approved.
The proposal lacks high-quality architecture, as defined in the Official Community Plan, staff also said. The current design of the facade and streetscape of View Street did not fit well with the public street and sidewalk was another issue for staff.
Nelson Investments said it wants to take advantage of the location which is very walkable and bikeable and therefore does not offer any vehicle parking. The building will have 317 secure bicycle parking spaces.
The “functionally designed” studio and one-bedroom units will have compact and efficient layouts through the use of built-in wardrobes and built-in bedrooms, the developer said in a letter to council.
The proposal also includes several amenity and multipurpose rooms, a patio on the ground floor and a roof terrace with a barbecue area.
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