Nine houses could make way for 280-units of rental apartments near Saanich's Rutledge Park
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
Published May 25, 2021
A two-building rental development has been proposed for Cloverdale Avenue at Alder Street in the District of Saanich’s ‘core’ with a density ask of nearly 280 residential units.
Saanich-based builder/developer and property management firm Woodsmere Holdings has unveiled plans for two eight-storey buildings (dubbed Rutledge Place Apartments) along the western perimeter of Rutledge Park in the 900-block of Cloverdale Avenue and the 3200-block of Alder Street southeast of the Cloverdale Avenue and Blanshard Street intersection.
To make way for the builds, Woodsmere has nine properties under contract that are currently comprised of single-family-homes, most of which date to the mid-20th century.
The project’s architecture calls for angled rooflines with façades broken up by three dominant colours and variability in setbacks. The building heights as proposed would be the tallest in the immediate area and in direct response to calls for greater densities in Saanich’s core area under the newly released Uptown-Douglas Plan (UDP). The UDP’s focus area spans as far east as Rutledge Street along Rutledge Park’s eastern border, and down to Tolmie Avenue inclusive of Woodmere’s development site.
Within the UDP framework, Saanich describes its vision for the Rutledge Neighbourhood as “a location of choice for residents seeking to live close to shops, services and amenities in a quiet residential setting with a range of medium density housing options,” while the Rutledge Park green space will “continue to serve as a neighbourhood anchor and community recreational hub.” Additionally, the district has identified a “newly designed Cloverdale Avenue [to] further emphasize the convenience of an eight to ten minute walk or two minute bike ride between the Galloping Goose Regional Trail and Rutledge Park.”
Municipal approvals for the eight-storey buildings are not anticipated until 2022, with construction to follow at some point thereafter.
Woodmere’s plans come as part of a broader densification effort for the Douglas and Blanshard streets corridors by the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich, and join significant undertakings already underway in Victoria-proper like Mike Geric Construction’s Tresah mass timber-designed 247-suite condominium tower rising along Speed Avenue at Douglas Street, and Aryze Development’s redevelopment of the Island Outfitters property in Saanich on Douglas Street at Cloverdale Avenue. The latter could materialize as a mixed-use complex, according to details released by Aryze in 2020.
At Uptown Shopping Centre, meanwhile, the final phase has been reconfigured as a highrise tower that encompasses some 300-units of rental apartments on Ravine Way at Carey Road. The shopping centre had formerly secured approvals from Saanich for a mid-rise tower with half the density of the new concept.
Headquartered in Saanich’s Christmas Hill neighbourhood, Woodsmere and its construction arm W & J Construction have focused their recent efforts on Victoria's West Shore, with multiple rental buildings completed, several in planning, and an industrial facility nearing its construction start along Highway 14. The company is one of the most active builders of rental housing on southern Vancouver Island and has completed projects throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. C
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