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A proposal to build more than 200 apartment units on the St. Andrew’s School site would create a fortress-like building funneling traffic in and out of a quiet residential street, some neighbours worry.

 

Vancouver-based Bosa Properties has optioned the school property at Pandora Avenue and Vancouver Street.

 

It wants to build a six-storey, wood-frame building with studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom rental apartments over ground-floor commercial.

 

But some neighbours say the project, which should be before the city’s planning and land use committee early in the new year, is totally out of scale for the quiet residential street and would dwarf nearby Franklin Green Park and one of the oldest urban farms in the city.

 

The new development would have an interior courtyard for private use by tenants and townhouses fronting Mason Street.

 

The project would have two levels of underground parking accessed off Mason via Vancouver Street.

 

City policies are that access should be off the street with the lowest use — in this case, Mason Street — but residents would like to see a smaller, lower building with access off Pandora Avenue.

 

Coun. Shellie Gudgeon, council liaison to the North Park neighbourhood, notes that Bosa has undertaken considerable consultation with the neighbourhood.

 

But, she said, the local resident association is opposed to the development, and neighbours “have some valid concerns.”

 

Gudgeon said she would like to see an attempt to access the property from Pandora Avenue instead of Vancouver Street, which is a cycling route.

 

Creating two-way cycling lanes on the south side of Pandora would make access from Pandora easier, she said.

 

Tristan Trotter, co-owner of Yoka’s Coffee on Mason Street, said that after all the consultation, the company “has not significantly altered its plans. The neighbourhood is expected to make all the concessions.”

 

Trotter said there’s no need for the suggested commercial tenants, which include a bank, coffee shop, grocery and pharmacy.

 

“The commercial tenants they’re looking for duplicate businesses around here that are still not operating at full capacity,” he said. “So it’s not as though the neighbourhood needs that.”

 

A visioning process suggested that a development more in keeping with the neighbourhood would have a maximum of three storeys fronting Mason Street, an open greenspace connected to Franklin Park and staggered commercial buildings on Pandora only.

 

“They’ve offered a [600-square-foot] community room,” Trotter said.

 

“That does not balance what the community loses in terms of light, greenspace, [additional] traffic problems and the bad precedent it sets in terms of bulk and mass.”

 

Coun. Pam Madoff, who sits on the planning committee that will be evaluating the development, said the site is “an interesting one” to try to develop, with busy Pandora on one side and quiet Mason street on the other.

 

She called Mason Street, with its urban farm and restored heritage building housing Yoka’s Coffee, “a valuable little hub in the neighbourhood.”

 

“I think what I would be looking for would be a significant stepping down on Mason and stepping back so the street edge supports the kind of properties we have across the street,” Madoff said.

 

Access will be an issue, she said.

 

“I’ve got absolutely zero interest in Mason Street becoming the loading dock for a development on Pandora and having all that traffic there. So there has to be a resolution that does not do that.”

 

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

 

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/proposed-apartment-building-would-dwarf-victoria-residential-street-neighbours-say-1.36804

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We have just sold another property at 6467 Central Saanich RD in VICTORIA.  We would love to sell your property, just give us a call!
 
ESTATE SALE - IMMEDIATE POSSESSION - PRICED TO SELL!! Executive appeal, family functionality AND an unrivaled location for those seeking easy access to produce/equestrian farms, hiking/biking trails, lake & ocean beaches. Tanner Ridge, an exclusive neighborhood in a pastoral setting offers a wholesome lifestyle with proximity to the highway, airport, ferries & more. The grand skylit front entrance leads to the expansive formal living/dining rooms. Concealed are the gourmet kitchen, dinette and family rooms at the rear of the house leading to the patio. Large main floor bedroom & full bath for extended family (or an office), 4 sizable bdrms upstairs. Sunsets & valley views from the master bdrm balcony! Ample parking.
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We have just sold another property at 2331 Chilco RD.  We would love to sell your property, just give us a call!
 
** Open Sat/Sun 1-4pm ** Here is your opportunity to own the show home at The Summit At Thetis! This gorgeous Boulderwood plan offers a large double garage and 3 bedrooms up ? including a huge walk in closet in the master suite. This show home also includes numerous upgrades including geothermal heating & cooling, stainless steel appliances, blinds, and on demand hot water. A great value, this home is ready for immediate occupancy.
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Sales of homes in the states are starting to look pretty darn good.  In fact, recent reports indicate that demand is at a three year high.  We know that the real estate market is a strong driver of economic activity so this is good news all round.  

 

We also know that our economy is tied very tightly to that of our neighbour to the south.  When they hurt, we hurt.  When their economy grows, ours will improve as well.

 

Click here to read more:

 

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Located in the trendy & modern Railyards neighborhood, here you will find affordable, urban, downtown bachelor suite with an ocean view at an unbeatable price! Inside, this bachelor suite offers modern polished concrete floors, a warm gas fireplace, and a full set of appliances, including in suite laundry. Outside, entertain on your large patio, surrounded by greenery, and enjoy the partial inner harbour ocean view. Cross the street for shopping, walk a few minutes to downtown, or bike the Galloping Goose Trail right from your front door. With rentals & pets allowed, and a coveted underground secure parking spot, this is an excellent investment all round.
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http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/rental-vacancies-up-but-market-remains-tight-1.28924

New rental vacancy figures released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. paint an increasingly positive picture for the Capital Region’s estimated 50,000 renters and their families. The vacancy rate for purpose-built apartments is up to 2.7 per cent, a significant increase from 2.1 per cent a year ago and far above four straight years of 0.5 per cent from 2005 to 2008.

Still, a Victoria two-bedroom apartment rents for $1,059 on average, compared to a national average of $901, says Carol Frketich, CMHC market analyst. A one-bedroom rents for $828 and a bachelor apartment commands an average of $695 — roughly 50 per cent of full-time pay for someone earning B.C.’s minimum wage of $10.25 per hour.

Some vacancies may reflect tenants becoming homeowners in a softer real estate market, but with fewer jobs for young people, more may be moving back home or doubling up in apartments with friends.

“The employment level in the 15-24 age group has declined consistently since 2008. Younger household groups have a higher tendency to rent,” the CMHC report said.

Survey results also show rent increases were held under one per cent at least for two-bedroom units during the last year, even though landlords legally could have charged more than four per cent.

The lowest bachelor rents are in Esquimalt and in West Shore communities, at $643 and $642, respectively.
Bachelors also had the lowest vacancy rates — at 1.3 per cent.

The local vacancy rate is just under the national rate of 2.7 per cent that CMHC found in 35 urban census areas. Cities, such as Regina at one per cent and Guelph at 1.4 per cent are far tighter than Victoria. The Abbotsford rate is 4.2 per cent, the highest in B.C.

What makes it difficult for families who need to rent is the higher percentage of one-bedroom apartments in Greater Victoria compared to two-bedrooms elsewhere, Frketich added.

All told, there are 23,495 purpose-built apartments from Sooke to Sidney, and another 700 rental townhouses.
Year-to-date, from Sooke to Sidney, there were 276 new apartment units built, up from 234 in 2011. Secondary suites in private homes or condos are not included in the CMHC survey.

The vacancy rate in investment condos — a significant slice of the local rental market — was a bit lower at 2.2 per cent, Frketich said.

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Open House on Sunday, December 16, 2012 13:00 - 16:00 - Showhome @ 4032 Rainbow Hill Lane

** SHOW HOME OPEN SAT/SUN 1-4pm ** You have worked hard to get to the top, now you can live there! On one of the highest points in the city, Rainbow Hill is a community of 20 prestigious view homes created beyond expectations. Gaze through your 12 foot floor to ceiling windows and take in the panoramic city, mountain, and sunset views. Relax inside your modern town home with Geo-thermal heating and cooling, entertain in your custom Nygaard interior, or just relax on your view deck and take it all in. With spacious, no-step, main level living, plus an additional level for your media room & more, this is as good as it gets and is truly a must see for the discerning luxury home buyer. Photos are of Show Home. HST is included in the price.
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Open House on Sunday, December 16, 2012 13:00 - 16:00 Showhome located @ 2331 Chilco Rd

**Show Home Sat/Sun 1-4** The ?Cedarwood? is spacious a 3 bedroom home offering large rooms, an island kitchen with eating bar, and a great room with plenty of windows. The kids can roam free on the lower level with its immense rec room. A bright sunny home with generous room sizes! ?The Summit at Thetis? is a new development of semi-custom 3-4 bedroom homes priced from $475,000 to $550,000 offering exceptional value with 9ft ceilings, real gas fireplaces, gas barbecue outlets, and more, all surrounded by green space and only a short walk to Thetis Lake Park. Choose your plan, your lot, customize, and move into your dream home in about six months. Price includes net HST.
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Open House on Sunday, December 16, 2012 13:00 - 16:00 - Showhome @ 4032 Rainbow Hill Lane

** SHOW HOME OPEN SAT/SUN 1-4pm ** You have worked hard to get to the top, now you can live there! On one of the highest points in the city, Rainbow Hill is a community of 20 prestigious view homes created beyond expectations. Gaze through your 12 foot floor to ceiling windows and take in the panoramic city, mountain, and sunset views. Relax inside your modern town home with Geo-thermal heating and cooling, entertain in your custom Nygaard interior, or just relax on your view deck and take it all in. With spacious, no-step, main level living, plus an additional level for your media room & more, this is as good as it gets and is truly a must see for the discerning luxury home buyer. Photos are of Show Home. HST is included in the price.
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Open House on Sunday, December 16, 2012 13:00 - 16:00 - Showhome @ 4032 Rainbow Hill Lane

** SHOW HOME OPEN SAT/SUN 1-4pm ** You have worked hard to get to the top, now you can live there! On one of the highest points in the city, Rainbow Hill is a community of 20 prestigious view homes created beyond expectations. Gaze through your 12 foot floor to ceiling windows and take in the panoramic city, mountain, and sunset views. Relax inside your modern town home with Geo-thermal heating and cooling, entertain in your custom Nygaard interior, or just relax on your view deck and take it all in. With spacious, no-step, main level living, plus an additional level for your media room & more, this is as good as it gets and is truly a must see for the discerning luxury home buyer. Photos are of Show Home. HST is included in the price.
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