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Public park, mid-block walkway between Old Town's Herald and Chatham streets part of Albion Residences proposal

The Albion Residences is a two-building, mixed-use proposal from developer Le Fevre & Co. for the 500-block of Chatham Street. The vision also includes Wilson Public Park, a green space connecting Chatham and Herald streets.  Le Fevre & Co. | SLA

Public park, mid-block walkway between Old Town's Herald and Chatham streets part of Albion Residences proposal
Mike Kozakowski,
Old Town-based developer Le Fevre & Co. has proposed a mixed-use residential and commercial development encompassing its former head office in the 500-block of Chatham Street, while incorporating a public mid-block pedestrian thoroughfare and park between Chatham and Herald streets.
Known as The Albion Residences, Le Fevre’s vision will further the rejuvenation of Chatham Street – which in 2020 saw the delivery of IronWorks also from Le Fevre, a five-storey condominium and retail complex at 515 Chatham Street at Store Street – with a two-building massing rising to six-storeys and a density of nearly 120 residences. Up to three retail units will front Chatham Street, and two of the homes will be available in a ground-oriented, live-work format.
Responsible for many of Old Town’s residential and retail developments including numerous heritage restoration and repurposing investments, Le Fevre’s latest effort will take advantage of two surface parking lots flanking a nondescript commercial building (that will make way for the new project) to create The Wilson Public Park, a landscaped green space extending from Chatham Street through to Herald Street. The park space, conceived by LADR Landscape Architects, is an homage to the Wilson family, for whom one of its adjacent buildings is named.
An architectural plan for Wilson Public Park.
The Wilson Public Park is a greenway accessible to pedestrians from Chatham Street through to Herald Street.  Le Fevre & Co | LADR Landscape Architects
Designed by Vancouver-based Stephane Laroye Architect, Albion’s distinct lowrises will deliver what the architectural firm describes as “contemporary industrial” themes in-keeping with the area’s history and recent new-build additions that evoke a sense of west coast port lands and manufacturing plants.
The eastern building, depicted in renderings as a dark-hued corrugated metal structure with expansive windows aligned in six columns, includes recessed balconies and a top floor with six distinct trusses apexing each column. Its counterpart to the west is connected by glassed walkways between floors two and six, its exterior adorned with bolted corten steel panels similar in appearance to the IronWorks next door.
As per the eastern building, the west building has vertical columns with large panes, albeit without the rooftop trusses. At its rear, a warehouse-like design with a gable roof is enhanced by a six-storey glassed component featuring vertically-aligned Albion signage presenting towards Herald Street via Wilson Public Park.

Rendering looking towards Chatham Street.

View towards The Albion Residences from Herald Street.
Renderings depicting the view towards Chatham Street from mid-way up Wilson Public Park with the west building of The Albion Residences at left (top), and from Herald Street into Wilson Public Park towards The Albion Residences (bottom).  Le Fevre & Co. | SLA
The ground floor along Chatham Street is dominated by street level commercial operations in the east building, to its right a breezeway connecting Wilson Public Park, and a lobby with a vestibule for residents within the west building. Two parking gates at either end of the project (one for surface parking stalls behind the west building, the other connecting an underground parkade) provide access to nearly 80 stalls, including visitor parking.
The Albion Residences’ suites are made up of micro, studio and one-bedroom homes plus two larger live-work units. The choice of pursuing smaller layouts is a move that will appeal to price-conscious purchasers, according to a written submission to the City as part of Le Fevre’s application.
The park will act as a secondary access point to the Wilson Building standing at its east, and as a vehicle loading zone. The architect writes that the park’s “proposed design supports and enhances the unique and rich heritage context of Old Town while contributing to Old Town’s human scale character and strengthens the cohesiveness of the area.” Seven trees currently planted on what is presently a surface parking lot accessible via Herald Street will be maintained.
Le Fevre has applied to the City of Victoria for a development permit with multiple variances, including height and on-site parking variances.
To the north of the proposal, meanwhile, Vancouver-based Reliance Properties is currently pursuing municipal approvals for a vision that will modernize what are collectively known as the Capital Iron lands into a multi-acre mixed-use residential and commercial precinct stretching from the Upper Harbour to Government Street.
The two developers will singlehandedly alter the northwest corner of the downtown core from what has been a long-time surface parking lot dominance, to an urban destination at the entrance to the Capital’s eclectic Burnside Gorge neighbourhood. C
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