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Newly-minted development firm planning 'attainable' condo project for Saanich's Shelbourne Valley

An artist's rendering of 1544 Christmas Avenue, a 25-unit condominium proposed for Saanich's Shelbourne Valley by real-estate development start-up Curate Developments. If approved, the four-storey project will rise in the hub of the rapidly densifying district.  Curate Developments

Newly-minted development firm planning 'attainable' condo project for Saanich's Shelbourne Valley
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
A 25-unit condominium project by a newly-minted real-estate development firm has been pitched for the hub of Saanich’s burgeoning Shelbourne Valley.
 
Curate Developments, headed by former Abstract Developments executive Sam Ganong and partner Brodie Gunn, is pursuing approvals for its premiere undertaking at 1544 Christmas Avenue near the intersection of Shelbourne Street and Cedar Hill Cross Road.
 
Designed by de Hoog & Kierulf Architects as a 21st century take on 1950’s-era modernist architecture with a hint of art deco influences, the four-storey building’s mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom layouts will be geared towards first-time purchasers readying to make the transition from renting to homeownership.
 
“Our driving motivation behind this project is to deliver a collection of attainable homes that speak to purchasers in search of value in a changing housing market,” said Ganong, adding that with rising interest rates and stricter federal mortgage regulations, “price point is a critical element to assisting buyers budgeting for their first purchase.”
 
16 of the 25 homes will range between 373 and 588 square feet in the form of studio and one-bedroom apartments. Two-bedroom residences are sized from 785 square feet. A 900 square foot ground floor amenity area with an outdoor patio will provide socializing space for residents.
 
The proposal offers 14 vehicle parking stalls and capacity for 40 bicycle stalls with additional secure storage for each unit.
 
“Coupling our parking study with societal trends that show rising demand for cycling and transit infrastructure and less dependence on vehicles, we’ve assessed the actual need for on-site parking to be about one-third of what has been required in decades past. With our development site situated on a busy transit corridor and in walking distance to a variety of retailers, we’re hoping to factor in an even greater level of affordability by cutting out unnecessary on-site parking, enhancing bicycle storage and cycling amenities, and supplying purchasers with a car share membership with each unit.”
 
Pending further community consultation sessions and completion of the formal approvals process by mid-2019, the project could proceed to the marketing stage by late 2019 with a construction start by 2020.
 
“We’ve made a point of reaching out to the nearby community at every step of the way to ensure the new addition to their neighbourhood is a collaborative effort, and as we move into 2019 we anticipate approvals will be granted by summer." C
 
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