More affordable housing could be coming to Victoria.
Victoria Cool Aid Society, in conjunction with TL Housing Solutions, is planning to build a seven-storey mixed-use development at 3020 Douglas St. and 584 Burnside Road E., where the Tally-Ho used to be located.
On June 11, Victoria city councillors will vote on a rezoning application and development permit application for the project during their scheduled council meeting. A virtual public hearing on the proposed development is also scheduled for 6:30 p.m. that day.
If realized, the development project, which is called Crosstown, would create 154 affordable rental housing units designed for working families, seniors, and singles with annual incomes ranging from $8,000 to $78,000. Approximately 32,000 square feet of commercial space, a coffee shop, a second-floor daycare, underground parking, bike storage, and a public plaza are also included in the development.
According to planning documents available on the city’s website, Crosstown would comprise of 88 studio units, six accessible studio units, 20 one-bedroom units, four accessible one-bedroom units, four two-bedroom units, nine three-bedroom units and four work-live units. There would also be 21 adaptable one-bedroom units, which have the ability to be converted into accessible units depending on whether there is funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Crosstown would replace 52 temporary units that are currently on the property. Those units were approved by city councilors back in 2017, after they granted a temporary use permit allowing Cool Aid Society to provide housing for 52 people who have previously been homeless. Tenants in the existing 52 units are expected to remain on-site during the construction phase and then be relocated into the new building once construction is complete.
The rezoning application, if successful, would change the property’s use from C-1 limited commercial district to a brand new zone that would allow the development to come to fruition.
City councillors had approved the application during a Committee of the Whole Meeting (COW) last May. Since then, a few changes have been made to the proposed development, including a reduction in the total number of units, and the location of a long-term bike storage facility, according to city staff.
“As we proceeded with further design development over the past year, these changes were found to be necessary in order to accommodate the structural and mechanical design and to balance the programmatic need of multiple different users across the site,” Deanna Bhandar, Cool Aid Society’s director of real estate development said in a letter to city staff.”
Modifications were also made to the roof of a parkade, resulting in it slightly “projecting above grade.” That small change, under the city’s existing bylaws, means the development is now considered a seven-storey building instead of a six-storey building, as originally planned.
Should city councillors formally approve the project, Cool Aid Society plans to begin construction in October. Construction is expected to be completed by October 2022.
For more information on the Crosstown project, visit www.coolaid.org.
Additional renderings of the proposed Crosstown mixed-use development at 3020 Douglas St. and 584 Burnside Road E. (City of Victoria/Cool Aid Society)