More details have come forward for the proposed development at 1050 Pandora Ave., the site of the historic Wellburn’s Market.
Wellburn’s has been at the site for 105 years. It was opened in 1914 by owner Matthew Wellburn as “Victoria’s original downtown grocery store.” At the time, the market shared the property with a bank, bakery and pharmacy as well as the Parkway Apartments on the second floor.
In 1983 the Lum family purchased the business, and in 1995 they did a major renovation to the building to give most of the street-level space to the market.
After a century-long legacy, however, the market will close down to make room for a mixed-use residential and commercial complex by Vancouver-based District Development Corporation.
The developer is planning a project which will take over the current space as well as the neighbouring parking lot. The sectioned building will hold one six-storey portion and one four-storey portion with a courtyard.
Forty-nine per cent of the existing structure will remain, including the exterior facades facing Pandora Avenue and Cook Street, and a portion of the northern facade facing the parking lot.
The new project will house 103 purpose-built rental apartments, with retail and commercial space maintained on the ground floor of the heritage building.
A new space for a cafe is proposed on the ground floor of the four-storey portion facing Cook Street.
Currently, the commercial space has not assigned, but in a letter to the city, architect Michael Green of Michael Green Architecture Inc. said that “the main commercial space as the opportunity to attract a large interactive retailer, or it can be devised for multiple smaller businesses.”
Wellburn’s will close by May 31, 2020, and the owner does not plan on opening up again anywhere else.
A new grocery store by Save-On-Foods will be opening within the block in July at 1008 Pandora Ave.