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Kelowna might find inspiration for Tolko site from this Victoria project

The Bayview Place development in Victoria is donating land worth $15 million so one of its nine proposed highrises can be affordable.
The Bayview Place development in Victoria is donating land worth $15 million so one of its nine proposed highrises can be affordable.
Image Credit: Submitted/

The first look at the redevelopment plans for the Tolko mill site in Kelowna are due out some time this fall.

Before that happens, affordable housing advocates might be inspired by a similar but much smaller redevelopment plan in Victoria that includes the donation of a $15 million parcel of land for an 18-storey, 180-unit below-market rental tower.

“This is a shovel-ready site integrated within the overall roundhouse district, providing much-needed below-market housing,” states a rezoning application being processed by the City of Victoria for Bayview Place.

That 20-acre site is referred to as the Roundhouse at Bayview Place because it is on the site of the former E&N Railway roundhouse and the last major piece of developable land near Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

READ MORE: Planners for Kelowna’s Tolko site could look to this massive Burnaby project for ideas

The original plan was approved in 2008 but most of it stalled. Now the owners are re-submitting their plans.

Those call for nine highrises up to 29 storeys, including Greater Victoria Housing Society’s 18-storey tower. All together there are expected to be 1,900 housing units.

The donation came about as a result of negotiations between the city, developer and housing society as a trade-off to increase the density of the project.

Bayview Place will include other amenities like parks and shops and preservation/restoration of heritage buildings. The 180 units will rent for below market values.

The Tolko lands, in contrast, are twice the size at 40 acres so, in theory, have plenty of room for an affordable housing component.

It’s also on the waterfront.

While potential redevelopment plans have been kept secret, during a city council tour of the site in the spring there was talk about heritage preservation, a variety of housing options and a “community interactive, fun waterfront.”

READ MORE: iN PHOTOS: Heritage, housing and waterfront fun in future for Kelowna’s Tolko lands

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