Gorge Pointe Pub owners Tom Burley, left, and Mike Joss outside the Esquimalt pub. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)

Gorge Pointe Pub owners Tom Burley, left, and Mike Joss outside the Esquimalt pub. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)

Neighbours have their say on development replacing Esquimalt’s Gorge Pointe Pub

The pub’s lease is up at the end of 2021 after Abstract Developments bought the property last year

Neighbours of Esquimalt’s Gorge Pointe Pub had their first say over what will become of the property after the restaurant’s lease is up at year’s end.

Abstract Developments purchased the pub’s 1075 Tillicum Rd. property last year after it was on the market for four years. The company ran a virtual community feedback meeting on May 19.

Adam Cooper, Abstract’s director of community planning and development, said they want to hear from residents before going to Esquimalt with a building application.

“We want to figure out what the community values are and then do our best to reflect those,” he told the about 60-person Zoom meeting. “What do you like about the neighbourhood that you might like to see more of.”

Residents at the meeting were firm in that they want the new development to include some sort of food business that can also be a hub for social gatherings – such as a cafe, restaurant or pub.

“There’s an attachment to the space that the pub is using and we’re hearing that loud and clear,” Cooper said.

Mike Joss, general manager and co-owner of the pub, hopes they can negotiate to extend their lease past 2021, until construction on the new development begins. He said Abstract turned down one lease extension offer they made – that would see the pub operate until shovels are in the ground – and the company’s counteroffer was too costly for Gorge Pointe to pay, especially fresh off the pandemic’s third wave.

READ: Bystanders rescue driver from flaming car after rollover crash in Esquimalt

Joss thanked the pub’s patrons for their business during the pandemic, saying it helped many of their workers stay employed.

“A pub isn’t necessarily the building, a pub is the people, a pub is the clientele,” Joss said. “We still own and control the licence, so there’s no definitive way that the Gorge Point Pub can’t be resurrected in another location.”

“Nothing’s forever, everything changes,” Joss said.

Some neighbours were concerned about adding more housing density to the area and about the new building’s height impacting how much sun the surrounding homes get.

The neighbours also asked that pedestrian and active transportation improvements be included in the plan to help offset Tillicum Road’s traffic congestion and speed. Cooper said they would work with Esquimalt during construction to move the sidewalk away from the road, widen it and add greenery and trees as a buffer between the walkway and roadway.

“We’re trying to ensure that we’re building a high-quality product that has those environmental considerations in the forefront,” he said.

Scot Osborne lives around the corner on McNaughton Avenue and is concerned about contractor crews parking on nearby side streets. He also hopes the plan would include speed bumps added on his and other nearby side streets to deter people from using them as cut-troughs to Craigflower Road.

Cooper said Abstract’s construction plans include clauses with contractors to ensure their vehicles don’t spill over into nearby neighbourhoods.

Cooper said there will other opportunities for community input before a formal application is made and sent to council.

READ: Indigenous man to lead healing walk Thursday on Hwy. 17 through Greater Victoria


Do you have a story tip? Email: jake.romphf@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

jake.romphf@blackpress.ca

Commercial real estatedevelopmentEsquimalt

Just Posted

HMCS Corner Brook returned to Victoria’s waters for the first time since 2015 on June 10. (Courtesy of the Royal Canadian Navy)
WATCH: Navy surveillance submarine returning to Victoria waters

HMCS Corner Brook one of first submarines to receive new communications systems

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes following provincial reopening announcement

Recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

A new multi-family residential project at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Cook Street will feature nine below market-priced units aimed at middle-income, first-time homebuyers, through a partnership between BC Housing and the developer. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Middle-income first time homebuyers gain access to nine homes in Victoria

BC Housing partners with development community to create affordable purchases

(Black Press Media file photo)
Copper piping missing, as suspect found with tools in Oak Bay commercial block

Police briefs include missing dinghy, speed stop turned impaired, wallet swiped from unlocked car

(Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 exposure closes Oak Bay pub, restaurant

Penny Farthing, Vis-a-Vis expected to reopen Wednesday after deep clean

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read