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Council's review of Harris Green rental tower 7 years in planning postponed to 2024

A rendering of 937 View Street's sixth floor podium dog run and lounge, one of the resident amenities at Nelson Investments' 23-storey Harris Green rental proposal.  Nelson Investments

Council's review of Harris Green rental tower 7 years in planning postponed to 2024
Mike Kozakowski, Citified.ca
A purpose-built rental proposal in its seventh year of municipal planning will have to wait until next year for council’s review, following the applicant’s decision to postpone a City staff presentation scheduled for today’s Committee of the Whole in Victoria.
 
Nelson Investments, the proponent of a 269-suite pet-friendly rental building envisioned for 937 View Street, requested the deferral of today’s proceedings and council’s vote on the tower’s future.
 
“Feedback from council suggested additional time to review our application would be helpful in their decision making process, and considering the heavy agenda council has today, our team agreed that postponement was the best path forward,” said Chris Nelson, CEO of Nelson Investments.
 
Council passed a unanimously-supported motion to review the application early next year.
 
Comprised of primarily studio and one-bedroom residences, plus a collection of two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes, the workforce housing tower could rise opposite Harris Green Village, where Starlight Developments earlier in 2023 secured approvals for 32, 29 and 28-storey residential towers above a large infusion of commercial space. Adjacent to 937 View Street stands View Towers, a 19-storey highrise dating to the early 1970s.
 
Nelson Investments’ design features a tall and slim massing to 23 storeys, with a sixth floor dog run and garden areas for residents atop a podium, and a rooftop lounge on the 23rd floor overlooking the city. Residents will also have access to a modern fitness gym.
A rendering of 937 View Street.
A rendering of 937 View Street, a 23-storey purpose-built rental tower proposed for the 900-block of View Street in Victoria's Harris Green neighbourhood.  Nelson Investments
 
In light of its zoning’s no-parking requirement, the application will provide no off-street parking stalls, in keeping with a council-led agenda to limit vehicle use in the city centre and promote alternative transportation options.
 
Although car-free, cycling infrastructure will provide unique accommodations for cyclists, something Nelson describes as “European-inspired, avant-garde long-term bicycle storage and maintenance area” with e-bike charging, that “has never been done in Victoria.”
 
Fully electrified for alignment with the City’s environmental and clean energy goals, Nelson’s project will also remediate contaminated soil at the development site, currently used as a surface parking lot.
 
The development permit application will require council’s support for several variances, including one meter side setback variances and a 1.81 meter rear yard setback variance, that will enable the inclusion of a substantial number of in-demand studio homes, Nelson says.
 
The proposal’s height, meanwhile, requires an eight-storey variance above its 15-storey designation under the City’s new Downtown Core Area Plan, a relatively common ask in Harris Green’s highrise-dominated landscape.
 
The Harris Green neighbourhood of Victoria has seen significant development interest in recent years, most notably in the form of highrise residential towers that include completed inventory such as Chard Developments 20-storey condominiums in the 800-block of Yates and Johnson streets, Starlight Developments’ approved five rental towers in the 900 and 1000 blocks of Yates Street at heights of up to 32 storeys, and Chard Developments’ just-approved rental proposal for 25 and 15-storey towers at 1050 Yates Street.
 
Recently, developer Townline completed a 23-storey purpose-built rental with 245 apartments as the final phase of Blanshard Street’s Hudson District in downtown-proper, called Hudson House. On View Street at Cook Street, the 15-storey Mod condominium reached occupancy this month, while Cox Developments' 15-storey rental on Johnson Street at Vancouver Street is headed for completion by mid-2024.
 
Meanwhile, in Victoria's north end near Hillside Avenue at Blanshard Street, developer Merchant House Capital has proposed a 120-unit rental tower with no parking provisions for residents. The decision to go car-free, according to Merchant House, is to promote alternative transportation choices for urban residents, and adopt council's desires to reduce car-centric development in the core. C


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