This rendering shows a proposed two-storey office building slated to replace the Elk Lake Restaurant. The offices will house LifeSport Coaching and Western triathlon offices

Triathlon building at Elk Lake takes shape

The end of an era at a Saanich summer hotspot came and went last August, with the closure of Elk Lake Restaurant and Water Sport Rental.

The end of an era at a Saanich summer hotspot came and went last August, with the closure of Elk Lake Restaurant and Water Sport Rental.

The shell of the restaurant, all that remains on the property at 5400 Pat Bay Hwy., could soon be gone too, as the new owners look to build a two-storey office building.

Saanich council expects to hear from the landowners Monday as they sought approval of a development permit for their west coast contemporary, wedge-shaped building.

Half of the proposed building, which would have a total of 275 square metres of floor space, would be occupied by LifeSport Coaching.

Lance Watson and Paul Regensburg, of the Subaru Western triathlon series and LifeSport Coaching, have had their eye on the area as a possible location for administration space for years before approaching the Dere family, which owned the restaurant and land.

“When the (adjacent) mini golf lot went up for sale, we hummed and hawed, and it became the cat clinic,” Watson told the News in August 2012. “We kicked ourselves for missing it, so later we talked to the restaurant owners and it was great timing. They were ready to retire.”

Watson and Regensburg plan to sublet half of the building, ideally to a like-minded tenant.

“We’ve always had a strong sense of connection with Elk Lake – all the Olympians we train there, we personally go running on that lake three to four times a week, swim on the lake in the summer. For us it feels like home,” Watson said.

“Emotionally and practically, we wanted to be there. We’re going to look for a tenant who appreciations that atmosphere.”

Saanich engineers are recommending the current access from the property onto the southbound lanes of the Pat Bay Highway be blocked off, making Hamsterly Road the sole access out of the site. The Ministry of Transportation and Highways is also recommending decommissioning this access.

If approved by council, the site will have 11 parking spots and 26 stalls for bicycles.

Watson says a lot of the existing asphalt site will be torn up to make way for trees and greenery.



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