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Preliminary vision for Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn redevelopment shared with community

A joint venture hopes to bring diversity of housing, locally-owned shops to the waterfront site
A joint venture has shared its preliminary vision for Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn property with the community as it continues to shape its plan for the redeveloped waterfront site. (Black Press Media file photo)

A joint venture has shared its preliminary vision for Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn property with the community as it continues to shape its plan for the redeveloped waterfront site.

GMC Projects and Chard Development held two community open houses this fall and are using feedback from those sessions to make adjustments to their plan.

Jordan Milne, GMC Projects’s president and CEO, said at this early stage their intention is to engage with the public and immediate neighbours to “help shape the project the best as possible.”

“Sidney is a beautiful community that has an opportunity to reinvigorate something that serviced the neighbourhood really, well, when it was first created, but as the community has evolved, may not actually be serving the community in the way that it could be,” Milne said.

No design is currently set in stone, but a vision was put forth at the community meetings. That preliminary plan includes a 104-unit condominium building on Lochside Drive, with 36 family-oriented townhomes also on the site. The goal is to give the site a seaside esthetic, and the condo building aims to be like a shrunken version of the Sidney Pier Hotel.

The partnership is proposing to use setback floors on the condo as it knows height is a major public concern. The building’s north wing would be five storeys high, with a dramatically setback uppermost level, and the south wing would top out at four storeys. Each of the top two floors on both wings would be set back from the levels below.

READ: Six stories a non-starter at Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn site

The redevelopment wants to create a local-business-driven commercial space at the ground level facing Lochside Drive. Milne said the south end of Sidney lacks community amenities – especially for people utilizing Tulista Park – and a cafe and restaurant, along with a shop where people could rent bikes or kayaks, could bring added value to the area.

The commercial aspect is a part of the redevelopment’s focus on creating communal gathering spaces for its residents and the community as a whole.

Another goal is to bring a diversity of housing options and prices to the neighbourhood. The plan could also include a rent-t0-own program, where residents rent a unit for the first two years and 100 per cent of those payments go toward a down payment on the home.

Any design will aim to take advantage of the active transportation infrastructure nearby. The main floor will include a bike storage, repair and wash space. EV infrastructure will also be included and more than half of the site would be dedicated greenspace.

Milne said they likely won’t be applying for an official community plan amendment in the near future as they may seek further dialogue with neighbours and the community before beginning that process.

READ: Saanich Peninsula Community Foundation encourages residents to donate time, money on Giving Tuesday

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Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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