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97-unit affordable facility to replace water-damaged Victoria apartments

Michigan Square redevelopment in James Bay aiming for 2023 completion

A concrete foundation poking out of the ground in James Bay shows the state of what will be a $6-million redevelopment that will add 97 low-to-moderate income homes.

Found at 330-336 Michigan St., the Michigan Square project is replacing three apartment buildings that were rendered uninhabitable by water damage.

Attorney General David Eby and other officials were at the site Monday (May 30)to give an update on the project.

“Victoria, like many communities across the province, is in a housing crisis, we need more housing urgently,” Eby said, before praising Victoria’s recently approved expedited approval process for some affordable projects.

The new Michigan Square will include two four-storey apartments with units ranging from studios up to four-bedroom spaces. About a quarter of the units will be for people with very low incomes, 22 will be rent geared to income spaces and the other half will be rented at market rates. Nine of the rentals will also be townhomes in an on-site heritage home, which is not being revamped.

The project is receiving $4.5 million through the Regional Housing First Program, a partnership between the Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC), the B.C. government and the federal government. The Capital Regional District is contributing $1.1 million and Victoria contributed $620,000.

READ: Victoria’s missing middle strategy faces process pushback

The three demolished buildings, which held 53 homes, had their residents relocated to other affordable housing spots in the community. Those residents will be the first ones offered to move in once the redevelopment is complete, which is tagged for fall 2023.

The site housed CRHC residents since 1985, said David Screech, View Royal mayor and CRHC vice-chair. The new apartments will surpass provincial energy efficiency requirements and seven units will be fully accessible.

The finished project will also include a private courtyard with a playground and community garden, as well as an indoor gathering space and bike storage. Follow us on Instagram.
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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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