Victoria’s Janion building targeted for redevelopment

New owner also plans development for Northern Junk property across Johnson Street

The interior staircase of the Janion building

After 35 years of sitting vacant, the Janion building will be restored.

On Monday, Jon Stovell of Reliance Properties announced the details of his purchase of the decaying historic building at 1612-1614 Store St., as well as waterfront property behind the building that is owned by Transport Canada.

“This morning we wrote to the city and withdrew the demolition permit application that was submitted by the previous owner,” said Stovell to a burst of applause.

He plans to rehabilitate the building to feature ground-floor retail and live-work studios. He also plans to build “well over” 100 so-called microlofts – small, self-contained and relatively affordable units.

Stovell said he was eyeing the Janion before he purchased the historic Northern Junk buildings on the other side of the Johnson Street Bridge in 2010. The deal wasn’t economical, however, until he secured the waterfront land from Transport Canada.

That parcel is zoned for a similar level of development as the Janion property and Stovell said he does not intend to submit a rezoning application for more density.

To make the development viable, he is counting on securing a property tax exemption under the city’s program for heritage restorations.

Project architect Paul Merrick called it a “special day.”

“We’ve all, for years, watched this old dear continue to exist and hoped for the best,” he said. “Today we begin on that dream of renewal.”

One big question yet to be answered is the future of the David Foster Way.

In late May, the city unveiled the new name for the harbourfront walkway at a star-studded ceremony. The walkway currently stretches from Ogden Point to the Johnson Street Bridge, running adjacent to the waterfront along most sections. The city hopes to continue the walkway all the way to Rock Bay.

Stovell, however, said he’s yet to have this conversation with the city.

“That’s also an open discussion … whether the waterfront walkway will turn up to the street at that point or even if there is an aspiration to continue on to the north along the water,” he said.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Historic structure

• The Janion building dates to 1891 and was used as a hotel for two years before being converted into the headquarters for the E&N Railway.

• The building is 15,000 square feet, plus basement. It features high ceilings, open staircases and fireplaces in some rooms.

• A analysis of the building has found that it has three layers of brick and is structurally sound, despite its outward appearance of decay.

Just Posted

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Saanich council to develop policy around contingency fund

Saanich’s strategic initiatives fund has been the subject of controversy

Report estimates Saanich taxpayers face a preliminary tax increase of 4.73 per cent in 2020

Saanich staff also questions why council continues to ask for budget reduction scenarios

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Most Read