The City of Victoria has released new draft economic plan called Victoria 3.0. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Latest Victoria economic plan features new conference centre, downtown tech transformations

Victoria 3.0 aims to change the city’s brand between now and 2041

Victoria City council is launching a new economic plan to take the city into 2041.

Victoria 3.0 – Pivoting to a Higher Value Economy, is a draft plan which the public can provide public feedback on beginning Thursday evening.

The plan aims to shape a “sustainable, growing and influential city which creates high-value jobs.”

It includes some larger endeavors, such as transforming the industrial area along Store Street into an “innovation district” beginning this year until 2022. This might include mixed-used developments, a working dock, and and ocean and marine hub. Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is leading that endeavor along with local property owners.

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“The vision of Victoria 3.0 is that as the Capital City, Victoria is future-ready and globally-fluent. Victoria 3.0 identifies how we can use our status as a small powerhouse to build a high-value economy that meets our needs now and anticipates the future,” Helps said in a statement.

Victoria 3.0 also aims to create an Oceans Future Cluster from 2020 to 2022, banding marine research technologies together into one neighbourhood.

“To develop the Ocean Futures Cluster, we will build on major assets like the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada, the Victoria Shipyards (operated by Seaspan), the Esquimalt Graving Dock including Babcock Canada and Lockheed Martin Canada, the Institute of Ocean Sciences and the Camosun Coastal Centre — all of the supply chains around the CFB Esquimalt and Point Hope Shipyard, and all the ocean and marine-related businesses in our region to create a 22nd-century-oriented ocean and marine economic cluster,” the plan reads.

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Victoria also plans on redeveloping the Victoria Conference Centre between now and 2031, with feasibility studies and designs being completed by 2022.

“Our current facility only allows us to host one small conference at a time,” the report reads. “Our desired future state is to be able to host two, mid-sized conferences concurrently or one large meeting. In order to achieve these objectives, and the greater economic returns that will come with them, a significant renovation or rebuild is necessary.”

The City also aims to re-brand the city and its story between 2022 and 2026.

A handful of invested parties will be introduced to the draft plan Thursday evening, but the general public can learn more and provide feedback through an online survey by visiting victoria.ca/prosperity. The survey will be online until Jan. 30.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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