Seven-storey luxury condo project could replace surface parking lot in James Bay
Mike Kozakowski, Citified.ca
Published October 25, 2022
Victoria-based Alpha Project Developments has proposed its latest residential investment in the James Bay neighbourhood's legislative precinct.
Envisioned as a seven-storey complex at 475 Kingston Street
, the lowrise will include approximately 60 up-market condominium suites in one, two and three-bedroom configurations, along with ground oriented, family-sized layouts.
The majority of the property is presently a surface parking lot, as is an expansive province-owned parcel immediately to the east known as the 'Q-Lot,' currently planned as future office space for government ministries.
Designed by Merrick Architecture, the proposal takes design cues from the nearby condominium and retail community known as Shoal Point – a significant landmark on the James Bay skyline situated just north of Ogden Point at the entrance to the Inner Harbour – also designed by Merrick Architecture. In addition to Shoal Point, the aesthetic borrows from developments by Alpha that were designed by Merrick at 827 Fairfield Road and 737 Humboldt Street.
Parking and bicycle storage will be accommodated as part of a two-storey underground parkade, and extensive landscaping will surround the building.
During a presentation to the James Bay Neighbourhood Association (JBNA) held earlier this month, the proponents outlined their plans for the dual rezoning and development permit application before the City (the land is currently zoned office-commercial).
As part of the presentation, Merrick Architecture described how the massing reflects a community plan adopted by the City of Victoria in the mid-1990s for the city’s legislative precinct under the Victoria Accord. Some 30-years-ago, the property was considered a future location for an office block. In terms of scale, the planned residential building adheres to that office block's height guidelines (22 meters) as projected within the Victoria Accord.
Feedback from the JBNA was positive, with participants citing appreciation for the level of material quality Alpha intends to deliver, and the benefits of redeveloping a surface parking lot.
Under the City’s rezoning requirements, if the application is approved, Alpha will make a payment to the City of Victoria in lieu of providing on-site affordable housing within the building. The approximate contribution to the City's Housing Reserve Fund will total $1.5 million, according to developer Bijan Neyestani.
Elsewhere in James Bay, multiple proposals are already working through the approvals process at city hall, including a 17-storey condominium tower
from Mike Geric Construction on Montreal Street between Kingston and Quebec streets, and a five-storey condominium from Aryze Developments in the 500-block of Toronto Street.
Alpha, meanwhile, most recently completed a 14-storey purpose-built rental tower
at 1400 Quadra Street and Johnson Street (subsequently sold to Starlight Investments), and the 17-storey Legato
condominium tower in the 900-block of Yates Street opposite downtown Victoria’s London Drugs store at Harris Green Village. C
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