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Posts tagged ‘urban village’

Radius Victoria isn’t Dead Yet

Radius Victoria LogoSometimes the sound of silence on a formerly buzzing construction site can be deafening. We haven’t heard anything about the stalled Radius project in uptown downtown Victoria in months, since the project was stalled due to credit woes in late 2007. But in today’s Times Colonist, John Schucht, president of Waywell Development, is quoted saying that the project is going to get back on track “one way or another.”

Since I first heard about the project, I have liked its “urban village” concept and thought it was a good fit for Victoria. I’ve blogged about it before, and that post stands as one of the most popular on the blog (7th place, to be precise), so obviously other people are excited about it too. The combination of commercial office space (including University Canada West), retail, and residential units in one city block is a good idea for reducing the need for cars in the city.

I’m glad to hear that they may be close to getting the project back together. With half the commercial space leased and half of the residential units sold, it seems that an investor would have confidence in the developer to make this project work.

Let’s hope it comes together.

Tim Ayres

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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