A year after the positive news came that a solid, established, well-capitalized company would be taking over the failed Capital City Centre project at Colwood Corners, city councillors have a better sense of what Onni Group wants to build there.
This week’s unveiling of the Vancouver-based international development firm’s vision for the site was a breath of fresh air, given that the property has resembled a war zone since the original project ground to a halt in 2013.
Constructing six buildings – three residential, three commercial – no higher than six storeys makes sense from a scale perspective. And the fact a firm with a successful track record is undertaking the project should provide a level of comfort that the final product will be something the city and its residents can feel good about for years to come.
We never bought the premise put forth by some residents that the City was somehow to blame for the Capital City Centre scenario, that it should have known better than to move forward with League Assets’ grand, multi-highrise plan for the site.
That said, Colwood councillors, some of whom were on the previous council that approved much of the League project, must also be feeling relieved that a development which actually fits into the community will eventually be built on this high-profile property.
A cluster of high rises in this relatively tight space would have transformed the area into a concrete corridor comparable to the downtown of Canada’s major metropolitan cities. After hearing residents voice concerns lately over such developments as the Metchosin/Painter roads townhome project, we’re frankly surprised the plan got as far as it did.
But that was then and this is now. Rather than lament what might have been, we need to applaud when people do things right. In this case, Onni Group, in partnership with the City of Colwood, is heading in the right direction.
We now hope City planners have begun working on an appropriate transportation plan to service the area, which will eventually host hundreds more residents and create more traffic for an already busy corridor.