Lower Johnson building up for redevelopment; one heritage designation to be removed

Lower Johnson building up for redevelopment; one heritage designation to be removed
Studio 531
An architect rendering of the streetscape of the proposed redevelopment on Lower Johnson.

Two buildings on Lower Johnson Street are up for redevelopment, which would result in one of the two losing its heritage designation.

Both the W.G. Cameron Building at 579 Johnson Street, and the Shotbolt Chemist Building at 585-587 Johnson Street are up for redevelopment.

The Shotbolt Chemist Building is currently designated a heritage building, and city staff have recommended that designation be removed.

Staff noted that it was added to the heritage list in 1990, and at the time it was on a “B list” of heritage buildings, which means the building had historical significance but had been subject to alterations.

“The B list buildings were not intended for the Heritage Register, but since the city did not have any other mechanism for recognizing heritage significance at the time, the B list properties were added to the city’s register anyways,” said Kristal Stevenot, senior heritage planner with the City of Victoria.

“If the Shotbolt Building were nominated today for inclusion on the heritage register in its current condition, it would not have sufficient character-defining elements remaining to justify conservation and as such designation would not be recommended.”

The Shotbolt Building used to be two storeys, with an apartment above the ground-floor shops.

The second storey was removed in 1957; only the ground floor retail space remains today.

For the W.G. Cameron Building, which was built in 1888, staff is recommending that the exterior receive a Heritage Designation to maintain the exterior of the building. Staff noted that the applicant for the development of these two properties voluntarily offered heritage designation of the building and waived any right to compensation for the designation.

The redevelopment application is for a five-storey L-shaped mixed-use building, with four storeys at the street and five behind. The building would have 27 residential units.

The applicant plans to build a “contemporary front façade” to replace the Shotbolt Chemist Building, and do seismic upgrades to the W.G. Building.

The application was unanimously approved at Committee of the Whole, which means it will now pass to the next step.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!