Plans underway for transit-oriented development near Uptown

Plans underway for transit-oriented development near Uptown
(L-R) Luke Mari from Aryze, David Eby, B.C.'s premier, Rob Fleming, B.C.'s minister of transportation and infrastructure, and Dean Murdock, mayor of Saanich, announcing plans for a development on a transit hub near Uptown.

After the B.C. government purchased two parcels of land in Saanich near Uptown, plans are underway to build a transit-oriented development.

The B.C. government recently spent $7.5 million to purchase 3657 Harriet Rd., which is where the Budget Rent-a-Car currently operates, and $1.8 million for 28 Crease Rd., which was previously occupied by Ryzuk Geotechnical, for the development.

In a release, the B.C. government says the plans are in “early development” so the exact final product is yet to be determined, it will be in alignment with the Uptown-Douglas Plan.

Early plans call for hundreds of housing units, public gathering spaces, active-transportation connections, retail and commercial space, and “potential” for child care, community-health facilities and educational services.

“Our communities are growing quickly, and people need affordable homes close to public transit, so they can get to where they need to go – and get ahead in life,” said Premier David Eby.

“That’s why our government is buying up land around transit hubs and making sure that the homes that are built there are affordable to people who actually use transit to get to school, work and appointments. This new development in Saanich will create a vibrant, connected community where people can find everything they need at their doorstep.”

The B.C. government purchased the land with its property acquisition fund announced in the 2023 budget.

“This project is going to help create a connected community where people live near transit with public spaces, saving more time to be with their families,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“The central location of these properties next to Highway 1, the Galloping Goose Regional Trail and established shopping centre is an ideal place for a bus exchange and much-needed new housing in a transit-oriented community.”

The B.C. government says the development will integrate with the Lochside and Galloping Goose trails and will become a hub for active transportation and transit.

Aaron Lamb, vice-president of asset management and chief sustainability officer for BC Transit says building more homes along bus routes is an encouraging move.

“It’s encouraging to see housing developments being planned along frequent transit corridors because making transit easier and more accessible will get more people onto buses and get them where they need to go without the need of a personal vehicle,” Lamb said.

“Higher density developments in closer proximity to frequent transit service and retail spaces like Uptown will result in the creation of more livable communities.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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