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Victoria approves 137-unit rental building bound for James Bay

Current tenants given right to return at 20 per cent below market rent

A redevelopment will bring 92 net new rental units to the corner of Menzies and Niagara streets in James Bay after getting the final go-ahead.

Victoria council on Thursday gave final approval to the 137-unit proposal’s rezoning and development permit.

The final vote on the project was pushed back by about a month so the city and developer, Primex Investments, could prepare a legal agreement giving some tenants the right to return at 20 per cent below market rent. That was secured after concerns were raised about some of the site’s current residents.

While the project includes a net increase of 58 trees at the location, some members of the public were concerned about the six purple leaf plum trees along Menzies Street being removed for construction of the underground parkade, plus widening the sidewalk and separating it from the road. Victoria parks staff said the trees are decaying from the inside due to a fungus and are nearing the end of their natural life.

Of the 137 units, the market-rental proposal includes 89 one-bedrooms, 33 two-bedroom and 14 three-bedroom units. The developer pitched the project as taking advantage of the strategic location, with recreation spots all around and a commercial hub on the same block.

The design, according to Primex, aims to match the neighbourhood character. Keeping the building to four storeys along Menzies and Niagara streets was said to address height concerns.

The site will also have 95 vehicle stalls, 10 visitor spaces and 250 bike spots.

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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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