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Blanshard site approved for 15-storey office tower re-envisioned for 22-storey residential highrise

A rendering depicts a highrise residential proposal for 1620 Blanshard Street and 741 Fisgard Street, in downtown Victoria. Developers Tri Eagle and Jawl Residential are planning to build a 22-storey residential project in lieu of a formerly approved 15-storey office tower on the same parcels.  Tri Eagle | Jawl Residential | Cascadia Architects

Blanshard site approved for 15-storey office tower re-envisioned for 22-storey residential highrise
Mike Kozakowski, Citified.ca
A long-vacant downtown Victoria property and an adjacent surface parking lot, formerly approved for a 15-storey office tower nearly 20 years ago, could be redeveloped into a highrise residential block with ground floor commercial space, Citified has learned.
 
 
Developers Tri Eagle Development Corporation and Jawl Residential alongside architectural firm Cascadia Architects have filed a rezoning and development permit application with the City of Victoria for 1620 Blanshard Street and 741 Fisgard Street, two contiguous parcels overlooking the Blanshard and Fisgard streets intersection immediately south of the recently completed multi-phased, high density Hudson District, currently home to Victoria's two tallest buildings.
 
Cascadia’s architectural plans depict a heavily glass-clad tower rising 22 storeys, with over 150 suites in studio through two-bedroom layouts. Nearly 5,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space is planned, while underground parking will accommodate just over 100 vehicles.
 
Unique design aspects include inset, two-storey ‘sky gardens’ on levels seven, nine, 12, 14, 17, and 19. The penthouse level includes inset terraces at each corner of the tower. Residents will have access to an expansive indoor and outdoor amenity space on the fourth floor, including a fitness room, a party room, a co-working space, and exterior seating, dining and exercise spaces.
 
A rendering of 1620 Fisgard Street.
A rendering of 1620 Fisgard Street, a 22-storey residential highrise proposed for the intersection of Blanshard and Fisgard streets.  Tri Eagle | Jawl Residential | Cascadia Architects
 
Cascadia, as part of a letter submitted to the City, describes the tower’s visual statement as such:
 
“The architectural expression employs a contemporary podium and tower form that responds to the established Hudson development to the north while introducing a dramatic language of glass and brick that will form an iconic landmark and define this prominent corner as a gateway to the city centre. Large, at-grade commercial units opening onto wide sidewalks and covered public spaces are proposed to activate the Blanshard and Fisgard street frontages. To the west, a unique linear food court is proposed as a highly visible and active contribution to the existing through-block connector.”
 
‘Green’ elements of the fully electrified project include high-efficiency electric heat pumps to heat and cool all units, and electric vehicle charging in the underground parkade.
 
 
Tri Eagle and Jawl Residential had formerly secured approvals on the land for a large office complex known as Gateway Green, dating back to the Alan Lowe mayoralty that ranged from the early to the late 2000s. At the time, multiple office proposals were wooing a new downtown location for a BC Ferries headquarters. BC Ferries ultimately situated in a project known as The Atrium at 800 Yates Street, completed in 2010, which led to Gateway Green remaining an approved proposal that undertook a leasing program, however, the tower would ultimately not proceed to construction.
 
Tri Eagle and Jawl Residential are two of the most active development firms in the Capital Region. Tri Eagle recently completed construction of two purpose-built rental buildings in Saanich's Shelbourne Valley, while Jawl Residential received occupancy this spring for its up-market Redfern condominium along Oak Bay Avenue near the Oak Bay-Victoria border. The company was also responsible for delivering a mixed-use affordable housing tower on Johnson Street near Cook Street, which is also home to Victoria’s new No 1. Fire Department Fire Hall. C
 
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