Site for proposed new Victoria Fire Department headquarters would be adjacent to Pacific Mazda backlot on Johnson Street. Courtesy City of Victoria

Victoria to get new downtown fire hall and emergency centre

Johnson Street public safety building would include emergency operations centre, ambulance station

The Victoria Fire Department is getting a new main hall downtown as part of a $35.9-million mixed-use project.

The City of Victoria and the department announced the project this morning, for a new public safety building to be located on Johnson Street adjacent to Pacific Mazda, a short distance from the current No.1 fire hall on Yates Street.

“This is an inspiring development that will meet our needs today and well into the future,” said Victoria Fire Chief Paul Bruce in a release. He added that the department continues to pursue local and regional efficiencies as a way to provide a high level of emergency services.

“The inclusion of an Emergency Operations Centre capable of managing hazard response specific to the City of Victoria is a practical and effective improvement to the management of emergencies on a holistic level,” he said.

The project will be built under an agreement with Victoria-based Dalmatian Developments Limited Partnership, a joint venture between Jawl Residential and Nadar Holdings Ltd.

The facility will be located on Johnson Street as part of a new mixed-use development adjacent to Pacific Mazda.

The 41,700 square-foot facility, billed as a state-of-the-art, post-seismic rated building, will replace the current 26,700 square-foot fire headquarters built in 1959. The new centre will not only house fire and rescue services and an emergency operations centre, the B.C. Emergency Health Services has agreed to lease 3,200-sq. ft. of space for a stand-alone four-ambulance hall under a 20-year co-service agreement.

“We’ve taken an innovative approach to this project. We canvassed the private sector and said, ‘We need a fire hall, what are your ideas?,’” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “What has come back is a fantastic project with a high-quality local developer that will see a fire hall built as part of a mixed use project that will be much more cost effective to the city than a stand-alone project, or rebuilding on the current site.”

The City indicated that no property tax implications would be incurred for the project. In February 2016 council approved in principle using up to $30 million from the the City’s debt reduction reserve to procure a new fire department headquarters at either the existing site or a new site. That money did not include any land purchase costs or the construction of such multi-use components as the ambulance station.

Victoria council will consider the authorization of the funds during discussions of the City’s 2018 financial plan this Thursday (March 22) meeting. Dalmatian is expected to bring the overall project through the rezoning process, which includes the construction of the new public safety building.

The developer plans to submit a rezoning application within the next six months and if all the approvals are received, construction is expected to take approximately 28 months.

editor@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Royal BC Museum’s newest series takes visitors behind the scenes

Adult sessions explores art, nature, history and more

Saanich councillor calls for interim Garry oak protection from development

Development in Saanich needs no environmental permits

What are the worst parking spots in Victoria?

We are looking for the worst places in the city to park and need your opinion

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

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

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Most Read