GardenWorks nursery in Oak Bay is seeking a new home as the property owners have submitted a development proposal to build a four-storey, 35-unit mixed use commercial and residential building on the site. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

GardenWorks’ time on Oak Bay Avenue winding down

With development proposal before the city, store looks for new location for 2020

With a redevelopment proposal underway, the GardenWorks store at the corner of Redfern Street and Oak Bay Avenue is looking for a new home.

A four-storey mixed-use development of ground-floor commercial and 35 units of residential has been submitted to the City of Victoria for the lot at 1908, 1912 and 1920 Oak Bay Ave. Currently, the lot and buildings house two tenants, GardenWorks and Ballam Plumbing.

“People are concerned, some are upset. They get their fruit trees and plants here. It would be a real loss to the community if that happens,” said store manager Diana Meagher.

There is hope they can find another location but the threat of closing the store outright looms overhead.

READ MORE: Oak Bay garden tour shows deer and gardeners can thrive together

GardenWorks is a chain and has locations in Saanich and Colwood. The Oak Bay lease ends July 2020. The store, formerly known as Art Knapp, has been there since 1988.

Ironically, GardenWorks in Oak bay is actually expanding. They’re adding a lifestyle store in the space recently freed up by the departure of The Frame-Up.

“We’re full steam ahead, business as usual in an even bigger way, and it’s fun,” Meagher said.

Initially GardenWorks and the developer behind the proposal, Jawl Residential, tried to find a solution in the new building. It will feature a ground floor commercial space but it won’t suit the needs of GardenWorks.

The chances of finding an urban location with a quarter-acre of outdoor space are slim, Meagher noted.

“I can’t speak to the future except that we are actively looking for another location,” Meagher said. “We need outdoor space and it’s a big area. Every corner you look at is gobbled up.”

READ MORE: Quest propsoal is inline with Oak Bay vision, developer says

In the meantime, GardenWorks is excited about their expansion into the former frame shop for a new lifestyle pop-up store. The lifestyle store will feature a planting bar and offer workshops such as Christmas wreath making ahead of the holiday season.

What makes the GardenWorks special, like any nursery, is that more than half of its 10,650 square-feet lot is uncovered. Part of the 6,667 sq. ft. lot abutting Redfern is also uncovered.

Many from the neighbourhood attended the South Jubilee Neighbourhood Association meetings regarding the new proposal but most remain unaware of GardenWorks’ future.

Shopper Claire Antifeau was in the store on Wednesday. She’s been buying gardening goods there for years as a South Jubilee resident and now visits Garden Works from her home in Cook Street Village.

“I think it’s too bad, there’s no garden places in town,” Antifeau said. “I will support them wherever they go.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Langford residents ask city to invest in park on controversial development parcel

Final public hearing scheduled at Langford City Hall on Monday, Nov. 25

Saanich mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

Sidney councillor predicts developers will take liberties after retroactive approval of beach stairs

Developer built stairs in an environmentally sensitive area without prior approval

West Shore students get message on interface fires

Royal Roads University teams up with high school students and Langford Fire

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Four arrested after report of shots fired in Nanaimo

RCMP arrest four suspects in high-risk takedown in Cedar

South Cariboo Driver hits four cows due to fog

The RCMP’s investigation is ongoing

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

Most Read