Victoria council has referred the 35-unit, four-storey development set to go into Oak Bay Avenue and Redfern Street to a public hearing.
Named the Redfern by applicant Jawl Development, the building will replace the GardenWorks nursery and garden store from 1908 to 1920 Oak Bay Avenue.
On paper, it’s a five-storey development. That’s because about one-quarter of the rooftop would provide a rooftop garden for the building residents with an elevator overrun servicing the roof level.
“From a visual standpoint, the height and scale of the building is four storeys, the visual representation from a community standpoint won’t change,” said Peter Jawl.
There is a petition by the community to help find GardenWorks or another garden nursery a home in the south Jubilee or Oak Bay area as the demands for an outdoor nursery are too constraining for the development.
Jawl said they received feedback from many residents. Many had concerns regarding privacy from the rooftop overlooking residences to the north. Screening will be installed on the north side of the roof to create that privacy while the garden will remain south-facing.
“It’s a garden-specific patio area, not a party area,” Jawl said.
The building will offer a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom condos that start at about 550 square feet up to 1,300 sq. ft. The first floor is a mix of up to four commercial units though a leaseholder could combine units for additional space.
The developer also gives up a section of land along the frontage of Oak Bay Avenue as part of the amenity package as the City of Victoria is working to create a larger right-of-way along that section.
There’s also a green wall that will face the Oak Bay Gospel Assembly church at the corner of Davie Street and Oak Bay Avenue.
Additional amenities are a $100,000 contribution to the City of Victoria’s affordable housing reserve fund and $25,000 towards a new crosswalk at Redfern Street and Oak Bay Avenue.
The crosswalk is a necessity as there is already a lot of foot traffic crossing between Red Barn deli and grocer and the GardenWorks currently on the lot. That traffic will only grow with a Discovery Coffee and other commercial tenants, Jawl said.
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