The Ledcor Group is in the process of finalizing the purchase of a portion of the former Belmont Secondary school site in Langford with the intention of constructing a 24-acre, 440-unit multi-phase development.
Once the sale, which has been in the works for the past year, is finalized, Ledcor will own the property on the south side of the newly constructed Division Avenue. This portion of the site is also bordered by the Galloping Goose Trail and the Sooke School District offices.
Representatives from Ledcor, the City of Langford and the West Shore were at the site Thursday morning to break ground and unveil plans for the new Belmont Residences.
“We are developing in areas across North America and I can tell you, we wish everybody had this great, enthusiastic attitude towards developers and finding homes. We have a problem – we need more homes,” said Bill Fox, president of Ledcor Properties Inc. “Ledcor Properties is here for the long run.”
Langford Mayor Stew Young noted it’s a $200 million project, making it the largest project going on in Langford right now.
“It’s a big project and we’re really excited about it. It’s a great location, right in the heart of Langford,” he said, adding its walking distance to three lakes.
The site, formerly home to the old Belmont secondary school, was purchased by Sobeys Inc. in 2014 for $23.25 million.
Sobeys also acquired a lot at the corner of Jacklin Road and Jenkins Avenue that was not owned by the School District to form the 24-acre site. Part of the rezoning process involved in those sales required the construction of Division Avenue, which, along with a sales centre that is underway, is the only construction work that has been done on the site to this date.
Crombie REIT has taken over the commercial development that was proposed for the rest of the site from Sobeys.
Back in May 2016, Sobeys applied for a development permit from the City of Langford for its Belmont Market proposal. As of last week, no building permits had been issued for the site, other than one recently issued to begin construction on the foundation of an apartment building. The permits to finish that one building are expected to be issued in the coming days.
Ledcor is expected to begin work this month on an 156-unit apartment project that will include commercial space on the lower floor in partnership with Crombie.
As for the section of the site south of Division Avenue, Ledcor envisions condo buildings with plans to start on the first 80-unit building this summer.
“We’re just going to make our way down the site,” said Scott Morrissey, Ledcor Properties director of construction. “It’s all based on density and how quickly we can build and sell.”
Ledcor’s portion of the site will include six or seven phases and is estimated to take five to seven years to fully build out, Morrissey added.
Once the earlier phases are complete, Ledcor intends to build townhomes that back onto the proposed commercial complex, which would include Thrifty Foods as the anchor tenant.
Marcela Corzo, Ledcor Properties director of development, said the project is where the “convenience of the market meets the Galloping Goose and nature … A place for neighbours to come together and for the community to interact with shops across the street.”
But one of the most important features is the walk-ability and bicycle-focused design of the project. “We’re going to create buildings with bikes as amenities, not just bike racks,” she explained.
She added the residential development will feature a number of amenities including bike washing stations and secure storage, as well as storage options for kayaks, thoughtfully planned connections to the Galloping Goose Trail and more.
“The focus is on creating a community,” she said.