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Victoria poised for record breaking volume of office space construction

Artist's rendering of 1515 Douglas Street, a project totalling 273,000 square feet of office space in the heart of Victoria's central business district.  Jawl Properties.

Victoria poised for record breaking volume of office space construction

A record setting building boom will add over 700,000 square feet of modern office space to downtown Victoria and periphery neighbourhoods by 2020.

Concurrent construction of multiple office buildings, together with projects recently occupied and projects planned to complete by 2020, will mark the most productive period for office development in the City of Victoria's history.

Leading the fray in terms of sheer size is 1515 Douglas by Jawl Properties. Comprised of a six storey lowrise fronting onto Douglas Street across from City Hall and a 13-storey tower immediately to the east, 1515 Douglas will bring 273,000 square feet of high-end office space and over 21,000 square feet of ground floor retail space to the heart of Victoria’s financial and business district. Site preparations have begun at Douglas Street and Pandora Avenue with both buildings anticipated to secure occupancy permits by early 2018.

Markers of downtown Victoria office developments.
Location markers of office developments throughout the City of Victoria.

In James Bay a partnership between Jawl Properties and Vancouver-based Concert Properties includes 235,000 square feet of office space as part of Capital Park, a redevelopment of a long-vacant property adjacent to aging provincial government offices bordered by Michigan, Menzies, Superior and Government streets. The first phase, expected to move into the site preparation stage in the first week of August with completion planned for late 2016 or early 2017, includes 117,000 square feet of office space in a five storey concrete lowrise, 53 residential units in a four storey woodframe building and some 17,000 square feet of ground floor retail space between them. At full build-out Capital Park will encompass 175 residences and a total of 20,000 square feet of retail space in addition to the 235,000 square feet of offices.

On the north fringe of downtown Victoria construction has begun on Victoria Rental Development Society’s Azzurro building, a seven storey affordable housing development that will include, among 65 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail space, 11,000 square feet of second floor office space. Occupancy is expected by the fall of next year.

Completed earlier in the year is Boardwalk by Jawl Properties, a six storey mixed-use office, retail and rental development in the Selkirk Waterfront area of Victoria’s Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood. Some 48,000 square feet of office space was built to address expansion requirements by existing tenants at Selkirk Waterfront. On Hillside Avenue between Douglas and Blanshard streets Andrew Sheret recently completed a six storey mixed-use office and retail development known as Midtown Court. The building includes nearly 52,000 square feet of office space and 16,000 square feet of retail space. And in the fall of 2014 Fort Street Properties completed a four storey office and ground floor commercial project, dubbed The Argus, in the 600-block of Fort Street. The Argus includes some 30,000 square feet of office space purpose-built for the Offices of the Auditor General of British Columbia.

Currently in planning is Customs House, a mixed-use office, retail and residential project fronting onto the Inner Harbour at the nexus of Government, Wharf and Humboldt streets. The concept calls for nearly 61,000 square feet of office space in a part heritage and part new-build seven storey development that will also include 39 rental units and 20,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space. Developer Cielo Properties expects a construction start in 2016, pending civic approvals. C

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Additional reading:

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