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Radius Victoria – A True Urban Village

Radius Victoria Presentation Centre Opens 

Urban Village offers many amenities for condo owners, business in downtown Victoria, BC.

Radius

Over the past 5-8 years, many new construction projects have been built in the Victoria area. Still more are now under construction or have been planned. One project that has captured my interest more than others is the Radius project in Downtown (OK, well slightly uptown) Victoria.

Planned as an Urban Village, its Developer touts the project as a true mixed-used development, with commercial and office space, recreation facilities, and of course, new condominiums. The idea is that it creates a whole neighbourhood – everything a person could need – within the city block upon which it’s built. You can live, work, and play all within walking distance.

Obviously, a selling feature of this project is the green-ness of it, reducing carbon emissions and so on. When you think about it, this is more than marketing hype or exploiting the current “green wave” in construction and, well, basically every other consumer product out there. An urban village is a great idea. It will create a sustainable, complete community. Imagine being able to walk out of the residential tower, grab a coffee at the shop in “Caledonia Mews,” a 15,000 sqft retail shopping plaza planned for the development, and then off to work in the office tower in the same block. Add to that the environmentally-friendly building materials and systems, and you’ve got something pretty special.

The trend these days in mixed use and residential developments is amenities – all those nice extras like gyms, spas, and recreation rooms for residents to use. I must admit, some of the ideas are a bit out-there! The commercials and ads in the paper talk of a rooftop labyrinth, an orchard, and rooftop gardens. The gardens are a neat idea -one of the things city-dwellers miss out on is the ability to grow your own vegetables and herbs. But the labyrinth?

The University of Canada West will have a campus in the development, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in arts, science, business, and manangement.

And finally, the 14-storey office tower, with 185,000 square feet of class A office space is a much-needed addition to the Victoria business community. Many firms would love to expand or relocate to the area, bringing with them the kind of jobs that are going to attract (and keep) people in the community. The problem is there is nowhere to put them. Office vacancies are virtually zero in this city, and developers are only now starting to catch up. It’s no surprise that the office space is 45% leased already. A major tenant is the BC Land Title and Survey Authority which has agreed to lease a 40,000 sqft space to replace its cramped and not-as-accessible digs on Burdett.

I hope this project is a smashing success, and that more developers will build similar projects all over our region. The condos are priced from $250,000 – not a luxury price tag like so many other projects in the city. This is a shining example of the future of developments, and we are lucky to have the future started right here in Victoria.

Tim Ayres – Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty