Major rebuild in the works for Townley Lodge

Saanich project will proceed to rezoning in the fall

The Greater Victoria Housing Society is planning an $18 million project to build 51 new senior apartments and 16 family townhouses at Townley Lodge on Townely Road in Saanich.

Townley Lodge is looking at a multi- million dollar facelift starting from the ground up.

Originally built in 1967, the single-storey structure at 1780 Townley Rd. in Saanich consists of  39 low-income seniors rental units. The building is “obsolete and long past its best due date,” said Kaye Melliship, executive director for the Greater Victoria Housing Society, which owns the 5,328 square metre property. The GVHS plans to build  51 new senior apartments and 16 family townhouses at a buildout cost of $18 million on the existing site, Melliship said. The new plan calls for  two, three and four storeys.

GVHS oversees a number of properties in the Capital Region that provide subsidized and non-subsidized housing for seniors, low-income families and people with disabilities.

The rezoning application will be presented to Saanich council  in the fall. If it is approved, work could begin by April 2017, Melliship noted.

“We have to relocate our tenants before then and that’s something we take seriously,” Melliship said. “We have been working with them individually to secure housing that’s better than what they have now.

“I believe the building would be the first multi-storey passive building in Victoria,” Melliship said. “That design standard significantly reduces energy costs and consumption, and that would be huge for reducing utility costs for our tenants.”

The new building, Townley Place, has a beautiful landscaping plan as well, she added.

Melliship lauded the efforts of the Capital Regional District, which contributed $450,500 toward the Townley Place project in June through a CRD Regional Housing Trust Fund.

“We are extremely grateful the CRD has stepped up and shown leadership in addressing the affordable housing crisis in the region,” Melliship said. “This project is a great response to adding much-needed senior housing and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to be part of a regional solution.”

The federal government will assist with funding for the project, and the province has indicated it may provide funding as well, Melliship said.

The GVHS has been conducting extensive consultation with the neighbourhood, and has made changes to the plans based on input from the community.

A fundamental concern expressed by some people is the height, Melliship said, although four storeys at that location falls within the Official Community Plan.

“We have also met with Saanich councillors and have taken some of their recommendations into consideration, she said.


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