Saanich councillor supports proposed housing development

Saanich councillor supports proposed housing development

Plans to increase the supply of student housing receive the thumbs-up from the chair of Saanich’s planning, transportation and economic development advisory committee.

Coun. Judy Brownoff said plans by the University of Victoria to build student housing in a partnership with a private developer in Downtown Victoria will benefit the region as a whole. But it may also bear additional burdens.

“I would say this project would be a positive for the region (depending on rental fees),” said Brownoff. “Although, if these students would be attending the UVIC campus in Gordon Head, then transit investment might need to be enhanced or I could see more cars travelling to campus.”

Rental accommodations in Saanich for students going to UVIC is not a detriment for the community, especially when they can bike, walk or take transit, said Brownoff. “This means less cars going to campus.”

News of the announcement comes against the backdrop of UVic having raised its on-campus student housing fees by 13 per cent effective last September and an on-going shortage of off-campus housing as evident by a low vacancy rate and correspondingly high rents.

So how might this development affect rental rates? Brownoff warns against high expectations. “So I do not think this will have any impact on rental rates,” said Brownoff, in pointing to various factors. This said, it is marks a step in the right direction, as Saanich and Victoria bring more rental housing online.

Brownoff made these comments after UVic Properties announced a partnership with Chard Development Ltd. to redevelop the Broad Street properties, a collection of revenue real estate holdings that the University of Victoria owns downtown.

“UVic Properties is pleased to be working with Chard Development for the Broad Street properties,” said Peter Kuran, president of UVic Properties, in a release. “This proposal is intended to provide housing downtown, including for UVic students, increase UVic’s downtown real estate investments, as well as enhance the future returns of a donation that was intended to provide ongoing financial support to UVic.”

The properties are located a 1312 Broad Street, a parking lot, 1314 Broad Street, the historic three-storey Duck’s Building, as well as 1324 Broad Street and 615-625 Johnston Street, a two-storey commercial annex building.

The Broad Street properties are part of a donation to UVic from the late developer, philanthropist and arts lover Michael Williams to provide the university with long-term financial returns to support its academic mission.

The proposal calls for Chard to build a 52-unit market residential rental complex on the parking lot property, which UVic will retain. To help address, a shortage of on-campus housing, UVic students would receive preference to rent the units.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

As cyclists and pedestrians pass by at Humboldt and Government streets, a garden of blooming black-eyed Susans brightens up the northwest corner of the Fairmont Empress Hotel property on a partially sunny November afternoon. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Keep your umbrella handy for the next while around Greater Victoria

November has lived up to its reputation as one of the rainiest months of the year

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming moves to the role of transportation minister in the NDP’s new cabinet. (B.C. government file photo)
Greater Victoria MLAs claim key roles in new cabinet

Transportation, Indigenous relations, children and family development ministries headed by locals

Victoria police are warning people after two Victoria residents fell victim to financial scams on Nov. 18 and 19. (Black Press Media File photo)
VicPD issues warning after two Victoria residents scammed $3,500

In both cases, the fraudsters were posing as financial services employees

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Most Read