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More than a million square feet of rental units proposed for downtown Victoria development

A Toronto-based developer has proposed a massive downtown Victoria mixed-use development that would see more than 1 million square feet of residential rental space included.

Over several years, Starlight Developments bought out the properties at the 900 and 1000 block of Yates Street, currently occupied by the Harris Green Plaza, home to community staples such as the Market on Yates, London Drugs, Bin 4 Burger Lounge and more. In the near future, however, the block will be home to much more.

Now, three new buildings are proposed for the area, as well as an intermittent green space.

ALSO READ: A Toronto developer looks to develop two blocks in downtown Victoria

The building at 1045 Yates St., currently occupied by the Harris Victoria Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram car lot, would host a 17-storey building, with a 15-storey podium. Two buildings would be stationed at the 900 Yates St. address, presently where London Drugs is, with 25 and 22 storeys and a 19-storey podium.

Within those buildings would be 1.28 million sq. ft. of residential space, equating between 1,200-1,500 units.

“The residential units will be 100 per cent rentals,” said said Mark Chemij, senior development manager at Starlight Developments. “In Victoria the vacancy rate sits around one per cent, while a healthy market is typically between three and five per cent… We’re hoping to provide a valuable supply of purpose-built rentals to the market.”

Chemij said at this point they had not determined a target demographic for the units, but that they would vary in design from studio suites all the way up to three-bedroom units.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria considers proposed senior rental development

On the ground floor there would be 100,000 sq. ft. of retail space available, though it’s too early to say who will be there.

“It’s our hope that we can keep our tenants if they choose to stay,” he said.

Between the two properties there would be a half-acre green space which would act as a village plaza.

On Tuesday Starlight presented its early ideas to the public in a Community Association Land Use Committee Meeting, an event which Chemij said went well.

“We’re pretty excited to present our initial concepts to the public,” he said. “We’re quite encouraged by what we heard and look forward to working with the city and the community.”

Starlight will put forward a development permit and a rezoning permit application to the City of Victoria in January.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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