Denciti Development Corp. has acquired three properties in the Greater Victoria community of Esquimalt which it intends to redevelop into a new mid-rise multifamily building.
The three properties at 820 Esquimalt Rd., and 833 and 837 Old Esquimalt Rd. comprise 0.89 acres. The rectangular land assembly includes one commercial site and two residential properties within walking distance of downtown Victoria in a neighbourhood Denciti CEO Garry Fawley says is undergoing a transition to increase density.
Thus, he does not anticipate any difficulty receiving the necessary approvals.
“No, the Official Community Plan anticipates this. This location is so close to the core it makes sense to densify,” Fawley told RENX in an email exchange.
Denciti has not released financial details, though the company says in keeping with its growth strategy, the properties were acquired in an “off-market opportunity.”
Denciti’s multifamily development
Although Denciti is still working out the final details, it anticipates a rezoning application to allow a multiresidential project of around 95,000 to 97,000 square feet. In keeping with current neighbourhood structures, the plan includes a wood-frame building standing five or six storeys over a parking garage.
The project will include both interior and outdoor amenities.
Fawley said details will be finalized based on the results of the rezoning application.
“It’s a gateway location entering Esquimalt, and what you see when you see the bend in (Esquimalt) road . . . welcoming you to this wonderful municipality,” Fawley wrote. “Highly visible site. It is a visual gateway site.”
Housing crunch in Victoria
British Columbia’s Capital Region has experienced significant net migration in recent years. Due to COVID-19. the trend has accelerated as more people have transitioned to working from home, putting additional pressure on the rental market.
Apartment vacancy rates have dropped to 1.4 per cent in Esquimalt.
This trend has dove-tailed with rising housing prices and a lack of supply both in Greater Victoria and other markets, meaning many first-time homebuyers are unable to purchase in the region. As a result, the demand for rental housing is escalating.
“This is a municipality that will continue to grow and an area that needs more housing choice,” Fawley said. “This is an excellent spot for a much-needed residential project and we’re thrilled to bring something new to this community.”
The location provides ease of access to employment and lifestyle amenities. It is close to elementary and secondary schools, grocery stores, shops and parks, including Barnard Park with its water access. It is also close to a well-established trail network with connections throughout the Capital Region.
Denciti and its other developments
Denciti has several other projects at various stages of development across B.C. In Victoria’s Old Town, it is building 278 rental units in collaboration with Nicola Wealth Real Estate.
It also currently has a 108-unit residential development on Uplands Drive in Nanaimo and a health-care focused rental building across from the hospital in Kelowna with 38 units.
On the industrial front, Denciti is working on projects in Langley, Kelowna, Squamish and Chilliwack.
The Vancouver-based real estate development company creates urban industrial, commercial and residential developments, delivering over $2 billion of real estate across Canada.