Property developer buys Capital Iron Lands to create downtown Victoria hub

Property developer buys Capital Iron Lands to create downtown Victoria hub
WatchA historically significant parcel of waterfront property in Victoria has changed hands. The designated heritage buildings, and the long-standing family businesses on the property, though, will stay put. Kori Sidaway reports.

In one of Victoria’s latest, most notable real estate sales, Vancouver-based property owner and developer Reliance Properties has committed to buy the Capital Iron Lands, two downtown blocks with heritage significance.

“With our known commitment to community-building, heritage rehabilitation, and thoughtful development, we are excited to add the Capital Iron lands and its many tenants to our portfolio,” said Jon Stovell, president and CEO of Reliance Properties.

“The Capital Iron lands have a rich history and several significant heritage buildings, which aligns perfectly with our extensive experience and interests.”

The local developing company has been nationally-recognized for its heritage work in Victoria, and plans to use the land to create a vibrant water-front hub. Reliance’s heritage portfolio in Victoria includes 780 Blanshard, Fairfield Block, Northern Junk, the Board of Trade Building, and The Janion. 

This month, Victoria city council marked the north end of downtown as a future Innovation District, an area for diverse uses a hub of “technological innovation.” The Capital Iron lands fall within the emerging innovation district and offer one of the city’s largest development opportunities, located on Victoria’s Upper Harbour. 

The purchase of the Capital Iron lands is expected to be completed in August.

“We look forward to collaborating with the current users, like Capital Iron retail store, and the community to create a master plan that incorporates the site’s heritage into a vibrant waterfront with high-value jobs, institutions, homes, and public amenities,” said Stovell. “The Capital Iron lands have more than 400 feet of water frontage, making it a unique, attractive, and exciting location.”

The 6.7 acres are mostly undeveloped, with only 93,000 square feet of built commercial and retail space, including three registered heritage buildings. Its namesake tenant, Capital Iron, occupies approximately half of the built space and  dates back 80 years.         

“Our general store is one-of-a-kind in Victoria, and we are proud of its long history,” said Mike Black, owner of the Capital Iron retail store. “Our family looks forward to continuing to operate our business alongside our many neighbouring retailers and specialty stores, maintaining a strong presence in the community and city, as all stores are now open. We also look forward to working with Reliance Properties.”

Reliance has been active and investing in Victoria for more than 10 years. According to Colliers’ 2018 market report, Reliance completed the city’s highest dollar-value transaction that year with its $60 million purchase of Harbour Centre, a commercial building at 910 Government Street. Colliers’ 2019 report states that two of Reliance’s purchases were among the Top 3 in the categories of commercial and multi-family real estate.

The Capital Iron Lands to be sold to Reliance Properties


Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence
Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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