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Plans afoot to convert Old Town properties into student housing, condos and retail space

The Duck's Block, built in 1892, will undergo a heritage restoration as part of a conversion to transform the building into condominium residences and ground floor retail space. An adjacent building and parking lot will also encompasses what is shaping up as a significant development undertaking in downtown Victoria's Old Town district.  Google

Plans afoot to convert Old Town properties into student housing, condos and retail space

UVic Properties and Vancouver-based Chard Development have announced a partnership to build over 150-units of purpose-built rental units and condominiums in Victoria's Old Town district.

“UVic Properties is pleased to be working with Chard Development for the Broad Street properties,” says Peter Kuran, president of UVic Properties. “This proposal is intended to provide housing downtown, including for UVic students, increase UVic’s downtown real estate investments, as well as enhance the future returns of a donation that was intended to provide ongoing financial support to UVic.”

The development proposal encompasses the restoration of Duck's Block, a three-storey commercial building erected in 1892 and home to retail tenants that include Saint Frank's bar and barbershop and VibeStreet Dance performance studio.

The Duck's Block will be seismically upgraded and reconfigured to house 51-units of condominium residences and ground floor commercial spaces.

A two-storey annex adjacent to Duck's Block, situated at 615-625 Johnson Street, will be redeveloped into 53-units of condominium residences. It remains unclear whether the historic structure will form the foundation of a larger building, or whether an alternate development plan will be considered for the property.

A surface parking lot to the south of Duck's Block will be developed into a 52-unit purpose-built rental complex geared towards University of Victoria students. Although housing will not be restricted to students, priority will be given to individuals studying at the university. The height and design characteristics will be revealed at a later time.

Next steps include public consultation with the City of Victoria’s Community Association Land Use Committee as well as submitting a rezoning and development permit application to the City of Victoria that will address land use, density, design and neighbourhood character.
UVic Properties regularly reviews how each non-academic revenue property is performing and implements strategies to optimize returns while minimizing operating risk, as net proceeds support UVic’s academic mission. C

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