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Latest design unveiled for dramatic Johnson Street Gateway project planned for Old Town

An artist's rendering of the latest design incarnation of the Johnson Street Gateway development proposed for lands along the eastern approach to the Johnson Street Bridge at Wharf and Johnson streets.  Reliance Properties

Latest design unveiled for dramatic Johnson Street Gateway project planned for Old Town
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
Reliance Properties has unveiled an updated design for its proposal to restore the historic Northern Junk Buildings along the shores of the Inner Harbour and to redevelop adjacent vacant lands into a mixed-use retail, live-work and condominium project.
 
Now in its fourth major architectural revision and seventh year of planning, Reliance’s Johnson Street Gateway concept (at the nexus of Wharf and Johnson Streets near the east end of the Johnson Street Bridge) has incorporated the latest feedback from the City of Victoria’s design review process while settling on a finalized unit mix and groundfloor retail component.
 
Key alterations to the previous submission – which itself was a revision of an earlier plan that saw the building rise to 12-storeys – include a massing change, the removal of balconies from the north and east frontages as a means of maintaining a traditional Old Town appearance, recessed seventh and eighth levels that create the impression of a low-rise height from the pedestrian realm of Wharf Street, and exterior finishings that work to visually pronounce the Northern Junk Buildings when viewed from across the harbour with the Johnson Street Gateway as their backdrop.
 
The main residential entrance has also been shifted from the northern half of the building to the centre as a means of creating greater transparency and a more inviting focal point. Exposure to the Northern Junk Buildings from Wharf Street has been improved with a reduction to the building’s southern length and through the relocated residential lobby.
 
Residential density has dropped slightly from 124-units to 121, with a mix of studio units and one, two and three-bedroom residences. Six live-work units will front onto the future David Foster Harbour Pathway. Residential layouts will range from 377 square feet to 1,244 square feet. 51 parking stalls will be situated in a single level of underground parking.
 
Retail spaces will now span the entire ground level of Johnson Street Gateway with entrances from both the Wharf and Johnson Street frontages and a future plaza between the new-build portion of the project and the Northern Junk Buildings. The two level heritage buildings will be restored into commercial spaces that are likely to attract food and beverage operators.
 
Pending a successful municipal approvals process that could yield a council decision by the end of this year, construction of the Johnson Street Gateway and the heritage restoration of the Northern Junk Buildings could get underway by mid-to-late 2018.
 
Click here to view the project’s profile and project renderings. C
 
 

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