University Heights, building A is an nine-storey mixed-use residential, retail and office building at Cedar Hill Road and McKenzie Avenue in Saanich. The building will replace the main retail complex of University Heights Shopping Centre, an adjacent bank branch and a restaurant along McKenzie Avenue.
Please note: residential unit figures, commercial space and other data is likely to change as the proposal makes its way through the municipal approvals process. Residential unit data for this building is estimated at this time.
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I'm ok with it; its analogous to the U-district in Seattle and for the same reason, i.e. the primary campus of the region's main university is close nearby. In a sense given the increased population and level of construction in the region University Heights as a neighborhood may make more sense now than 50 years ago when they built the mall.
Either way I grew up right around the corner on Cedar Hill Rd - had this development been pitched back then (1964-72) it could've easily wound up being known as The Barn Yard District, the Cow Pattie District, the Partially Paved but Mostly Gravel Street District , the No Longer Greenhouse District, or even the Lots of Hot Sex Happening because there are Children literally Everywhere district....
Did Saanich News get the drop on citified with this scoop?
They would have bought advertising to promote the open houses, which would have been passed on to the reporters as a news piece.
The real goods will be when the new vision is released.
For those interested, updated drawings are up on Saanich's website: https://www.saanich.ca/EN/main/local-government/development-applications/active-development-applications/gordon-head.html
University Heights is near the bottom of the page. Direct link to elevations here: https://www.saanich.ca/assets/Local~Government/Documents/ActiveApps/3956shelbourne20191009elev.pdf
Do we have a unit breakdown per building? The original proposal had 360 and the new proposal has 528.
Here's the site plan:
A large-scale mixed-use modernization of a Saanich shopping plaza on McKenzie Avenue at Shelbourne Street is on the back burner.
Over 350 residences and some 180,000 square feet of commercial space are planned to modernize the aging Saanich shopping complex.
Over 350 residences and nearly 200,000 square feet of commercial space will transform a significant portion of the Saanich mall.