A spokesperson for the proposed 19-unit, four-storey condominium development at Fifth Street and Henry Avenue in Sidney said the site is safe but added that construction won’t start until later in the fall.
“What we are pushing for is between September and the end of the year,” said Cliona Flanagan with MGF Project Services, when asked about the start of construction on the site.
She added the public can see additional excavation on the site before the start of construction, having said earlier the company is monitoring the site, working with on-site support and the municipality.
“Everything is in conjunction with the requirements of the Town of the Sidney and we are in constant communication with them,” she said. “Compared to some other municipalities, they really work as fast they can.”
The site, now partially filled with water but fenced off, has drawn the attention of nearby neighbours, curious about its past and future. Work on the site first started in fall 2020.
Chief administrative officer (CAO) Randy Humble said staff issued an excavation permit on Oct. 8, 2020 and the site was excavated later that month.
“The town is communicating with the property owner about their timing for submitting a building permit application and developing the site in a timely manner, as per the development permit approved by (council) in April 2022,” he said.
That development permit was the second council had issued. A permit first issued in 2018 had lapsed because construction had not substantially started within two years of the initial approval. The developers cited other priorities as well as a lack of general contractors and sub-contractors at the time.
“In the time since the previous development permit was issued and the previous building application was submitted (but never issued), both the BC Building Code and (Sidney’s off-street parking and loading bylaw) were updated with new requirements,” said Humble. “New applications must comply with current bylaw and B.C. Building Code requirements.”
Flanagan said the company continues to look for contractors in Greater Victoria with labour shortages looming in the background.
“Everybody is saying they cannot get labourers and everybody is saying that they cannot get project managers, that is their biggest problem, ” she said. “So a lot of contractors are dubious about taking on new jobs before next year.”
Flanagan said the building is not changing in terms of its design and footprint, but it is adding more bicycle storage and electric vehicle charging stations.
Five of the 19 units have found buyers with additional marketing happening later this year, she added.
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