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Whoda thunk it? Apparently you can't tax your way to affordable housing.
University Heights redevelopment on hold as owner crunches costs
...Facing increased development cost charges imposed by Saanich, a rich community amenity package and the desire to have some affordable housing options on site, Vancouver-based Wesbild is tweaking its project and crunching numbers to see if there’s a way to make the mixed-use development financially viable...When you keep layering on costs, when do you say ‘uncle?’ ” asked Steve Forrest, Wesbild’s senior vice-president of real estate...
^its not just government charges, construction costs continue to rise while prices are flat or falling. retail as well has not been doing well
Jen Derbyshire, Wesbild’s director of marketing and community relations, said Tuesday that the company plans to submit its revised proposal in the fall followed by what she called “extensive” community consultations.
The broad strokes of the project remain, mixing commercial usage with rental residential, said Derbyshire. “But it will be different.”
To emphasize this point, Wesbild has scrubbed its project website of previous renderings in suggesting that its new proposal will perhaps be less ambitious. The site instead features more generic imaginary. Previous renderings showed an elegant, even upscale, complex, that would dominate the area if completed.
The "generic imagery" they're referring to means stock photos of people shopping and drinking coffee, not anything architectural. Either way, I'm pessimistic we'll ever see some of the interesting architecture and finishes seen in the initial renderings.
If you see Saanich News reporter Wolf Depner, who posted that article at 5:10 this morning, buy him a coffee.
A large-scale mixed-use modernization of a Saanich shopping plaza on McKenzie Avenue at Shelbourne Street is on the back burner.
Over 350 residences and some 180,000 square feet of commercial space are planned to modernize the aging Saanich shopping complex.
Over 350 residences and nearly 200,000 square feet of commercial space will transform a significant portion of the Saanich mall.