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Design District condo proposal revived and re-envisioned

Artist's rendering of Kunju Residences, a 32 unit mixed-use condo and ground floor commercial development planned for 613 Herald Street.  Homewood Constructors.

Design District condo proposal revived and re-envisioned

A re-envisioned proposal to build a mixed-use residential and ground floor commercial building on a long empty lot in downtown Victoria’s Design District will be back before Victoria council several years after previously approved plans failed to materialize.

First proposed in 2008 by Magellan Properties and Homewood Constructors, The Kunju, at 613 Herald Street, was designed by Frank D’Ambrosio Architects as a four storey condo with ground floor commercial space. Approvals were secured in early 2009, although it was not until 2011 that a short-lived marketing campaign was launched prior to the site being put up for sale.

In 2013 Homewood Constructors revived the project by announcing plans to build a redesigned five storey mixed-use residential and commercial building with a different architectural firm at the helm, Hillel Architecture, whose design will be before council on July 23 seeking a development permit.

 Aerial of Kunju Residences
Approximate massing and location of Kunju Residences at 613 Herald Street.

"The Kunju Residences as currently proposed is a new project solution for this site. The original development permit expired and we are seeking a permit for a brand new proposal that is reflective of the current market," said Peter Hardcastle, Principal at Hillel Architecture.

Plans call for 32 one bedroom condos on floors two-through-five with 995 square feet of ground floor commercial space split between two units fronting onto Herald Street.

12 surface parking spaces, situated behind the two commercial units, will be available for purchase and each unit will include bicycle storage. Pending a smooth approvals process, construction may begin as early as late 2015 or early 2016 with Homewood’s development timeline intended to be as "swift as possible," according to Hardcastle. C

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