Longtime residents of Cordova Bay could be forgiven for feeling somewhat out of synch as the winds of change sweep across their once-sleepy hamlet.
But the pace of progress is relentless, and the same lure that brought families to the area years ago is now attracting the interest of developers, hoping to capitalize on the appeal of one of the most attractive stretches of land on the South Island.
Architect Alan Lowe and developer James Gardiner are moving ahead with plans for the redevelopment of Cordova Bay Plaza. The plaza is at the core of the Cordova Bay community, and represents the place where residents stop to pick up groceries, grab a coffee or maybe catch up on the neighbourhood news.
But while the plaza may still be at the hub of Cordova Bay, the 1960s era structure has definitely seen better days. The proposed development will bring up to 80 residential suites as well as about 35,000 square feet in commercial space that will include space for a grocery store.
The construction of the new plaza will bring disruption for Tru Value Foods and the other businesses that have become a fixture in the community. Work on the plaza will mean the stores will need to temporarily close or relocate, forcing residents to travel farther afield for their shopping needs. Hopefully the businesses can count on the continued support of their community.
And the changes don’t stop there. Just around the corner a 25-unit apartment has been proposed for Doumac Avenue. A public hearing is in the works for the proposed four-storey building that has already stoked concerns from residents over increased traffic and growing congestion.
Saanich council must work to alleviate those concerns, but residents should be aware that even Cordova Bay can’t escape the relentless spread of development.
Perhaps Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs president Larry Gontovnick summed it up best: “At one time, the village consisted of only single family homes and some small businesses. Look at Cordova Bay now.”