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Exclusive: University Heights Shopping Centre poised for major makeover

An artist's rendering of a modernized University Heights Shopping Centre. The redevelopment effort will comprise of four buildings between one and eight-storeys in height, with over 350 residences and nearly 200,000 square feet of commercial space.  Wesbild Holdings

Exclusive: University Heights Shopping Centre poised for major makeover
Mike KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
University Heights Shopping Centre is poised for a significant makeover that will transform the popular retail hub, Citified has learned.
 
Situated in Saanich along Shelbourne Street and Cedar Hill Road at McKenzie Avenue, the 205,500 square foot complex is currently home to Home Depot, Save-On-Foods, a Landmark Cinemas movie theatre, a fitness centre and some 30 smaller retailers.
 
The shopping centre’s newly-unveiled vision, designed by Victoria-based Wensley Architecture, will incorporate 360 residences between two lowrise buildings standing eight and six-storeys tall, dubbed building A and B. Both will be situated along Cedar Hill Road between the existing Home Depot space and McKenzie Avenue and will incorporate two levels of commercial space.
 
Article continues below these images
 
Building A, looking northwest
Building A as seen from McKenzie Avenue near Shelbourne Street. ©Wesbild Holdings

Building A, looking southwest
Building A as seen from Shelbourne Street, looking southwest. ©Wesbild Holdings

Building B and A, looking southwest
Building B in the foreground with the Home Depot store in white. Building A is in the background. Looking southwest. ©Wesbild Holdings

Building B and A connected by walkway
A pedestrian walkway connecting buildings A (right) and B (left). ©Wesbild Holdings

Building B
Building B, looking northwest. ©Wesbild Holdings

Building C
Building C as seen from Shelbourne Street. ©Wesbild Holdings

Building D
Building D as seen from Shelbourne Street. ©Wesbild Holdings

Siteplan
The project site plan. ©Wesbild Holdings

Along the shopping centre’s Shelbourne Street frontage two additional buildings, C and D, will rise one and two levels, respectively, with nearly 21,000 square feet of commercial space between them.
 
Development plans submitted to Saanich identify 184,305 square feet of commercial and office space throughout the site, while over 232,000 square feet will be in the form residences.
 
Just under 950 parking stalls are projected to be built as surface and underground spaces.
 
Envisioned tenants include a 41,500 square foot grocery store, a 17,455 square foot drug store, a 26,000 square foot fitness complex while 8,000 square feet will be allocated as offices. The remaining commercial space will be assumed by a mix of smaller tenants that could include a daycare facility and food operators.
 
University Heights was acquired in 2015 by Vancouver-based Wesbild Holdings Ltd. Although redevelopment plans are in their infancy, re-purposing of the shopping centre could begin as early as 2020 pending municipal approvals and lease terms for existing tenants. C
 
 

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