WATCH: The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has revealed plans for Ogden Point’s future, including retail shops and restaurants, possibly even a hotel. April Lawrence reports.
There are big plans in the works for one of Victoria’s most iconic waterfront areas.
Currently the 13 hectare property looks like little more than a massive parking lot that welcomes cruise ship passengers to Canada five months of the year.
“[There’s] huge potential to open this site up and make it accessible and welcoming for people to come down 365 days of the year,” said Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.
The Harbour Authority is finishing up a master plan that would see the site expand and improve its cruise ship amenities, but also add amenities for the public, including retail shops, restaurants, and possibly even a hotel— something that’s been controversial in public consultations.
“If a hotel were to be considered I think it’s going to be around a 50-60 room boutique hotel but there’s much more we have to do, we even have to determine if there’s a market for a hotel,” said Robertson.
People who live and work in the area have ideas of what they would like to see.
“More restaurants, good food, more places to go, more for the city people and the tourists to do down here because I don’t feel like there is too much,” said one resident.
“I guess less industrial, more restaurants, maybe some shops, sort of what they’ve done in Seattle?” suggested one woman who works in the area.
Residents also want to see something done about the traffic, emissions, and noise coming from Ogden Point.
The GVHA said it has heard the concerns, and has plans to address them.
“As we look at how the buildings are placed on the terminal we’re looking at how we can place them, how we can construct them so that it mitigates the impacts of the noise on the community,” said Robertson.
Once the master plan is finalized, the GVHA will go to the City of Victoria to apply for rezoning for parts of the property.
That process is estimated to last into 2017, and construction won’t likely get underway until a year or two after that.
You can find the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s updated Master Plan here.