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Esquimalt's Carlton Club makes way for arts venue, wrestling clinic ahead of redevelopment

The Carlton Club has been a fixture along Esquimalt Road for generations. Due to COVID-19, the club shuttered, and its real-estate was sold to developer GMC Projects. Future plans for the site are expected to yield a mixed-use commercial and residential project.  Google

Esquimalt's Carlton Club makes way for arts venue, wrestling clinic ahead of redevelopment
Mike Kozakowski,
One of the Capital Region’s longest-operating nightclubs is no more as redevelopment plans draw near for its high-profile property.
Esquimalt’s Carlton Club Cabaret, in operation for several decades at 900 Carlton Terrace (just west of the Esquimalt Road and Head Street intersection), closed recently due to a string of COVID-19 restrictions, and its real-estate changed hands in 2021. The club will be temporarily transformed into an arts and event venue while redevelopment plans are drafted, according to the property’s new owner.
“The nightclub has been leased to a tenant that will operate the Carlton Project, a cultural initiative merging several services benefiting the local arts community, including a wrestling clinic,” said Jordan Milne, President & CEO of Victoria-based GMC Projects. “Our future plans for the property include a mixed-use commercial and residential project. We hope to begin consulting with the community on what could be built there later this year.”
Milne says no immediate changes – apart from the Carlton Project – are expected, save for the potential activation of a currently vacant medical clinic within the Carlton building’s Esquimalt Road frontage. Commercial leases for two restaurants adjacent to the vacant unit remain in effect for at least another year-and-a-half.
Esquimalt’s main artery has seen significant change in recent years and many more redevelopment efforts from the Victoria-Esquimalt border at Dominion Road through to CFB Esquimalt west of the Admirals Road are planned.
Kitty-corner from the Carlton Club property, developer Lexi Group is nearing sold-out status for its Pacific House highrise condominium project that will span from Esquimalt Road to Wallaston Street along the east side of Head Street. The development is just several blocks north of Tenfold Projects’ Westbay Quay condominium development nearing completion of its first phase and the launching point for phase two, known as Sapphire.
Not far from Esquimalt Road at Head Street, the former Cambie pub property next to the A&W restaurant is envisioned for high density residential spaces, as is the iconic Bingo hall further east. Across the street from the Bingo hall Hythe Point, a seniors residence, is expected to move forward by next year.
West of Head Street, Vancouver-based Aragon Properties recently completed the much-praised Esquimalt Town Square project, comprised of two sold-out condominiums, a fully leased rental building and an office block. And west from there, an 11-storey seniors building is nearing completion on Admirals Road just north of Esquimalt Road, while multiple rental blocks are at the occupancy stage or headed for construction starts throughout the northwest quadrant of Esquimalt Road at Admirals Road through to Naden Way. Multiple other projects are also slated for the corridor.
GMC Projects is no stranger to development in Esquimalt. In 2018 the company converted an Econo Lodge motel on Craigflower Road at Admirals Road into an oceanfront 96-unit rental community, delivering much-needed rental housing to an under-utilized property. Over in Vic West, GMC was at the helm of a two-building office investment known as Upper Harbour Place. Elsewhere in the region GMC is pursuing approvals for the redevelopment of Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn & Suites with development partner Chard, while its Charlesworth rental building on Cook Street in Victoria is under construction adjacent to GMC's Bell Apartments. C
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