The skyline around Victoria’s largest shopping mall could be in for a major overhaul.
City council is currently looking at a proposal that would see a 14-storey mass timber residential building, along with a 6-storey wood-framed residential building, be developed blocks from Mayfair Shopping Centre in an area that’s become known as Midtown.
If approved, the development from D’Ambrosio Architecture and Urbanism, would be the first mass timber building erected in the capital city.
The two buildings would be located at 629 Speed Avenue and 618 Frances Avenue and would be connected by an underground parking lot, as well as outdoor paths including a timber pavilion.
During a committee of the whole meeting Thursday, Councillor Marianne Alto said she has seen several failed applications for the proposed site since joining council in 2010.
Both Alto and Mayor Lisa Helps were vocal in supporting the project which would include 247 residential units which would range in size from studio units to a few dozen two-bedroom units. 125 units would be one-bedroom. The applicant has also voluntarily offered to provide ten units as affordable rental units as per the city’s definition of affordable housing for a period of ten years.
Renderings from the developer show what the skyline could look like if the more than 45-metre tall building is approved.
“I actually love the way the building looks,” said Mayor Helps, adding that the proposal should act as an example for future developers.
Helps also talked about development in the Midtown area and suggested the 14-storey building would be a positive sight for anyone entering the city along Douglas Street.
“This is one of the first things you’ll see when you come into Douglas Street, and it tells a story,” she told council.
The mayor’s motion to send the application to the public for comment was seconded by Councillor Alto.
Helps says the public will get a chance to comment sometime in the fall.