88-units of affordable housing, daycare and flex spaces pitched for Burnside School lands
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
Published July 2, 2018
Details pertaining to a social housing project and the development of a community hub in the City of Victoria's Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood are now public.
Developer TL Housing Solutions in partnership with Victoria-based social housing provider Pacifica Housing are proposing to build 88-units of affordable rental residences at 496 and 498 Cecelia Road behind the historic Burnside School on Jutland Road.
The taller building will also house a daycare facility with capacity for approximately 60 children and a flex space allotted to the Burnside-Gorge Community Association for neighbourhood events on evenings and weekends.
Parking for the complex will be in the form of a 99-stall underground parkade with 82 stalls allocated to residents, nine to visitors, five for childcare services and three to Burnside School.
The development concept is made possible through an arrangement between Pacifica Housing, the City of Victoria and the Greater Victoria School District whereby the City of Victoria will lease the development site to Pacifica Housing for a period of 60-years while the Greater Victoria School District will be in charge of seismically upgrading and refurbishing the century-old school to operate the facility as both a neighbourhood space and as a replacement for educational services currently offered at S.J. Willis Education Centre.
In a prepared statement issued last winter, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the "unprecedented three-way collaboration [between the developers, the City and the school district] will provide benefits including much needed family housing and childcare spaces as well as community development opportunities." The mayor also said the initiative supports the 2016-2025 Victoria Housing Strategy.
Edith Loring-Kuhanga, the school district's board chair, said the project will provide an opportunity to "create a neighbourhood hub with amenities for families, young children and learners [and] is the first step to building a healthy, sustainable and prosperous community."
The province's Minister of Education, Rob Fleming, called the agreement “excellent news for the Burnside Gorge community" and says his government is committed to "investing in new affordable housing projects like this.”
It is too early to confirm potential unit rental rates. Construction on the complex is expected to begin next year with completion by 2020 or 2021. C
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