In a 6-3 vote, Victoria council voted to approve the 11-storey Telus Ocean project, which developers say will bring up to 2,000 new jobs.
The developer, Aryze, says the goal is for the project to be the new business and innovation centre for Victoria.
The building, which will be built at 767 Douglas Street, will have a mixture of office spaces, and community spaces.
Lisa Helps, mayor of Victoria, says it will be constructed with the environment in mind.
“It’s a zero-carbon building, it’s built to step 3 of the Step Code, so the highest energy performance,” Helps says. “Apparently it’s going to be the most sustainable office building in British Columbia.”
Helps says some nearby residents were opposed to the project claiming it is too tall and too dense and competes with some of the nearby heritage buildings.
“A lot of the opposition was that it doesn’t fit into the heritage area, and I think the answer to that is Victoria of the past has to work with the Victoria of the future,” Helps said. “There are tradeoffs. It’s a large building on a small site, but to me, it really pivots Victoria to face the 22nd century in a really interesting way and it achieves almost everything that Victoria 3.0 sets out to achieve.”
Helps, along with councillors Marianne Alto, Sarah Potts, Sharmarke Dubow, Stephen Andrew, and Jeremy Loveday.
Councillors Geoff Young, Ben Isitt, and Charlayne Thornton-Joe voted against the motion.