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Missed mixed-use noted as Victoria OK’s condo towers

Two residential towers containing 291 condominiums at Dockside site do not include any commercial space, councillors caution
Artist’s rendering of the proposed development at 343 Tyee Rd., 90 Esquimalt Rd. and 350 to 358 Harbour Rd. | City of Victoria

Victoria city council has approved a development permit for nearly 300 units of housing in two new towers at Dockside Green.

Council was unanimous in moving the two residential towers forward for the corner of Tyee and Esquimalt roads, though some councillors bemoaned the lack of commercial space in the plans.

“I do think that there was a big missed opportunity here for mixed-use,” said Coun. Jeremy Caradonna, noting the master development agreement signed for the Dockside Green project did not require much commercial space.

“My concern is, and probably will remain for a while, that we are building a condo dead zone in Vic West, where there’s a lot of people living there, but it still feels like a ghost town.”

Caradonna said he understands future phases of the Dockside neighbourhood will contain more commercial space, which he said would better connect the project to downtown.

Coun. Matt Dell echoed the concerns, noting there’s going to be a lot of people living in the area and in 20 or 30 years it will be a very dense and vibrant neighbourhood.

“And we’re going to want to have a lot of commercial, restaurants, cafés to support that,” he said.

The permit approval will advance the project, which will see a 19-storey tower built at the northeast intersection of Esquimalt and Tyee roads and a 16-storey tower just to the north of it.

Between them, the two towers are expected to contain about 291 condominium units. The application includes amenities required by the Dockside Green Master Development Agreement, including a pedestrian walkway and plaza and parts of new streets and the start of what will be Dockside Commons Park.

Parking for the project, 307 spaces, is to be provided underground. There will be 364 long-term bike parking spaces and 49 short-term spaces.

The project includes planting 62 trees in the area.

No trees are expected to be removed from what is currently a vacant site.