Two six-storey rental buildings housing almost 200 condominium-style units are proposed for Esquimalt’s namesake drive.
Chris Karu, with Vancouver-based rental developer PC Urban, said his company hopes the development at 856 and 858 Esquimalt Rd. helps alleviate the housing crisis in the township and their project would focus on young professionals and working families.
About half of the 198 condos would have two bedrooms, with 85 one-bedrooms, 11 three-bedrooms and a studio unit. Between the two pet-friendly L-shaped buildings would be kids’ play area and a dog run.
The development would have two ground-floor commercial spaces, with one being the existing Cask and Keg liquor store and the other being suitable for something like a coffee shop. The building along Esquimalt Road would have levels that cascade down toward the street and its 5,000 square-foot rooftop amenity space would include a lounge area, putting greens, a barbecue area and an indoor full kitchen.
The proposal also touts an expanded boulevard and public art displays along Esquimalt Road.
The proposed 234 total parking spots would include 48 ground-level visitor and commercial stalls. Other transportation elements call for a minimum of one MODO car share vehicle on-site and at least 63 memberships for tenants, 20 Level 2 electric vehicle chargers and 234 bike parking spots.
No rezoning for the site is needed as it was previously zoned to allow for two 12-storey buildings that had been proposed. The PC Urban proposal does request variances for reduced commercial space, increased lot coverage, different setbacks and the allocation and number of parking spaces.
The township’s advisory planning commission approved the plans, saying the development “would be a great addition to this area of Esquimalt Road, given the design.” The design review committee said it presented carefully considered massing, appropriate density for the site and a good street-facing pedestrian experience.
The township and PC Urban will now work on legal requirements for the proposal before the developer brings a development variance permit forward for consideration.
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