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Affordable rentals and an office complex envisioned for Tally-Ho Hotel site

An artist's rendering of Crosstown, a mixed-use affordable rental, retail and office development envisioned for lands occupied by the former Tally-Ho Hotel complex along upper Douglas Street.  Low Hammond Rowe Architects

Affordable rentals and an office complex envisioned for Tally-Ho Hotel site
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
A former hotel complex-turned social housing residence along Victoria’s upper Douglas Street corridor is eyed for redevelopment into a mixed-used, multi-phased affordable rental and commercial project, Citified has learned.
 
The 52-room Tally-Ho Hotel property spanning between the 500-block of Burnside Road East and the 3000-block of Douglas Street was acquired by BC Housing in the spring of 2017 for the purposes of converting the suites into supportive housing owned and managed by the Victoria Cool Aid Society. It has been operating in that capacity since early 2018.
  
Earlier this year Cool Aid, working with affordable housing builder TL Housing Solutions, unveiled plans to transform the nearly 60-year-old hotel and its adjacent parking lot (accessible via Burnside Road East) into a proposal dubbed Crosstown that would include over 150 affordable rental apartments, retail spaces and offices within two low-rise buildings.
 
Designed by Low Hammond Rowe Architects, Crosstown’s six-storey first phase will focus on the redevelopment of the parking lot and a portion of the existing Tally-Ho building into apartments and commercial spaces.
 
Residences earmarked for working families, seniors and singles across a spectrum of income levels will occupy floors two-through-six while a variety of commercial uses (that include a daycare, a café and offices) will occupy some 30,000 square feet within the first two levels.
 
52 of the 153 residential suites will be operated as supportive housing to replace spaces within the former hotel.
 
An underground parking component will accommodate over 140 vehicle stalls across two below-ground floors.
 
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Aerial view of the Crosstown development.
An aerial overview of the Tally-Ho Hotel property depicting the first phase on the left with frontage onto Burnside Road East and the second phase (an office building) on the right fronting onto Douglas Street.  Low Hammond Rowe Architects 
 
On the Douglas Street side Crosstown’s second phase, destined for land occupied by the remainder of the hotel, will include one level of retail space and five levels of offices above.
 
Cool Aid’s concept for the property is the product of multiple community consultation sessions with residents of the Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood and City of Victoria municipal staff. As currently envisioned, the Crosstown concept conforms to the newly-adopted Burnside-Gorge Neighbourhood Plan that places an emphasis on housing diversity (such as larger homes for families and affordability), daycare provisions and community amenities. The project is also in-keeping with the City of Victoria’s Official Community Plan.
 
The municipal approvals process and community engagement sessions are likely to extend into mid-to-late 2019. Pending a successful application outcome, construction would get underway by early-to-mid 2020.
 
Victoria Cool-Aid Society operates over 500-units of affordable and assisted housing throughout the Capital Region. Formed in 1968, the organization is one of the largest providers of social services on the south Island and has been involved in social housing real-estate development efforts since the early 1990’s. 
 
TL Housing Solutions, a social housing subsidiary of development firm Townline, has been a staple of Victoria’s affordable housing industry over the last decade. The company has constructed hundreds of affordable homes throughout the region and continues to build additional inventory with projects that include Helios in Colwood and Oak Park in Langford (which recently received an occupancy permit for phase one and phase two is in final stages of approvals).
 
Townline’s development efforts in downtown Victoria's Hudson District have thus far delivered over 400 purpose-built rental apartments across three highrise towers. A heritage restoration of the landmark Hudson’s Bay Company department store saw the historic building transformed into condominiums while its ground floor opened as the Victoria Public Market. C
 
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