Victoria property company plans to replace Tillicum bingo hall with residential housing

The six-storey building proposal includes 242 rental apartments

A Victoria real estate company has submitted a $70-million proposal to Saanich to build a six-storey, 242 unit residential building with commercial space for cafes, bakeries, and patios on the ground level. Locals said the property has long been considered an appropriate place for housing development and they’ve been waiting since 2005 to see action.

Property company Cielo Properties released a proposal to redevelop what used to be the Playtime Games Bingo hall on Tillicum Road into two six-storey building with 121 apartments each and 16,000 square feet of commercial space underneath. The triangular two-acre property faces the north entrance to Tillicum Centre between Burnside Road West and Tillicum Road.

The proposal includes plans for studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments, as well as plans for family-friendly townhouses on the backside of the building and a total of 320 parking stalls on the premises. There are also plans for green spaces on the property, including green roofs.

READ ALSO: Mixed-income housing project in View Royal to provide more than 150 homes

Cielo Properties founder Stan Sipos said studio apartments would account for about 20 per cent of the units, one-bedroom apartments would account for about 20 per cent, two-bedroom apartments over 40 per cent, and there would be “some” three-bedroom apartments as well.

Sipos said the proposal fits within Saanich’s OCP, and the company took community needs into account when planning the development. “What they want is what we’re trying to do. It feels like a good, sensitive development,” Sipos said.

The Gorge Tillicum Community Association seems to agree. Vice President Vera Wynn-Williams said the proposal does fit within the local area plan, and the association is pleased to see features like green roofs, a variety of housing styles, and places such as cafes for the community to gather to have a coffee.

“We’d like to see the Tillicum and Burnside West roads cleaned up, it just feels like a scar down the middle of our community,” Wynn-Williams said. “We’re hoping this kick-starts some development to the area that’s less car-focused and brings the community together.” She did say the development company has yet to hold an open house for public input, but the association has had a few meetings with the developers.

Wynn-Williams said the community has seen the space as a place for housing and commercial development since 2005. So when could locals look at moving in, if the proposal is approved by Saanich? Sipos said the proposal could take eight to nine months to get approved, and the first building could be populated as early as 2021.

READ ALSO: Esquimalt approves 10-storey development with ground floor health clinic

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


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