242 rental apartments, commercial spaces envisioned for Tillicum's Playtime bingo hall property
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
Published November 25, 2019
Victoria-based Cielo Properties has unveiled plans for the redevelopment of the former Playtime Games Bingo hall in Saanich’s Tillicum neighbourhood.
Cielo’s vision for the 3400 Tillicum Road property calls for a duo of six-storey buildings comprised of 242 rental apartments in the form of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom layouts. A dozen two-bedroom units will include ground-oriented townhome-like floorplans with exterior-facing entrances.
With the property (opposite the north entrance to Tillicum Shopping Centre) spanning between Tillicum Road and Burnside Road, the project’s ground floor commercial components will yield some 16,000 square feet with frontage onto both thoroughfares.
Developer Johnathon Sipos says preliminary meetings with both the local community association and Saanich’s planning staff have been positive.
“Our initial public outreach and consultation sessions with municipal staff show a desire for this form of housing and its associated density in the Gorge Tillicum neighbourhood,” Sipos says. “Residents recognize the positive impact of mixed-use, high quality development in the area, and the municipality is targeting neighbourhoods like Tillicum for population growth given its walkability, public transit services and highway access.”
Designed as ‘L-shaped’ lowrises to break up the façade and avoid linearity, Sipos says architectural firm DYS Architecture is pursuing a contemporary concept with stepped-back upper floor massing and ample view corridors to arrive at a massing befitting of a landmark in a setting where a focal point is lacking.
Through the use of a variety of materials that include exposed wood, composite panels, corrugated metals and exposed concrete, the design is distinctly west coast in style, and communicates an up-market flair befitting its high-profile location.
An interior courtyard will provide public green space and opportunities for socializing.
“The architectural team has spent a lot of effort creating a vision that will not only provide a bold statement for the neighbourhood, but it will do so with materials and a palette that will stand the test of time,” Sipos says. “The goal is for this building to age well and serve as an anchor among its surroundings with a new green space for the entire community to enjoy.”
Known for its condominium projects that include the Customs House development now underway in downtown Victoria, 3400 Tillicum Road marks Cielo Properties’ first purpose-built rental undertaking.
With the proposal now before Saanich municipal staff, Sipos anticipates the approvals process to extend into mid-2020 with construction starting some time in 2021.
The nearly two-acre property is currently vacant following the closure of the bingo hall earlier this year. The single-storey Playtime complex served as a gaming centre for many years. C
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