VGH development moving ahead

Plan for 10,000 sq-ft commercial and office space, and 138 apartments next to Victoria General Hospital had been on hold since 2007.

A plan for a commercial and residential development next to Victoria General Hospital is up and running once again after being on hold since 2007.

The proposed Eagle Creek Village project from developer Omicron, based out of Vancouver and Victoria, will include 138 apartments and more than 10,000 square feet of commercial and office space for medical and other professionals, in seven buildings.

The property as a whole is about 13.5 acres and incorporates five lots along Helmcken Road, Watkiss Way and Little Road.

Of the total land, just under three acres is to be dedicated park land, which will include walking trails and a children’s playground.

The proposed site also includes the Victoria General Hospital (VGH) Triangle parcel of land, which was put up for sale in 2009 and again this May.

The main access road for the development is planed for the triangle, along with a large part of the proposed park.

“It is a very significant project,” said View Royal councillor and chair of planning and development committee John Rogers. “It’ll probably take another six months to get everything sorted out, which is OK with the applicant. He’s going to need the six months to do his end of the stuff and in conjunction with his people and tenants.”

The commercial space will include retail space with the potential for restaurants, grocery, pharmacy, and liquor stores. Space will also be made for medical services to compliment the hospital, with potential for family physicians, walk-in clinics, dentistry and rehabilitation services.

View Royal committee of the whole is recommending the developer conduct a land lift analysis with staff and a third party, and determine the appropriate amount of payback land to the municipality.

Also, Official Community Plan amendments and rezoning applications need to be referred to the appropriate sub-committees.

A public hearing will be held to present the development to nearby residents and hear concerns. An open house in May resulted in largely positive feedback, along with some concerns over increased traffic and speed limits.

“I think the exciting thing is it’s obviously addressing a key need in that area for these services. The applicant has heard that loud and clear from folks within the hospital complex,” Rogers said. “It’s not everybody in the town but certainly I do think that people have recognized the need and appreciate the benefits.”

Omicron did not respond to requests for an interview.

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