2% Speculation Tax announcement triggers some Albertan’s to sell

The B.C. NDP provincial government will be rolling out a new speculation tax in 2019. The tax targets foreign and domestic speculators who do not pay income tax in B.C., including those who leave their homes vacant. The tax will begin at 0.5 per cent of assessed property value in 2018 and rise to 2 per cent in 2019.

This proposed ‘speculation tax’ would not only impact foreign owners of empty homes, but many B.C. residents owning a second home or cottage. The province currently has some provisions for extended absence from your home for those on temporary assignments or misplaced by health or other reasons. The province is saying some owners would later receive a tax credit based on the amount of provincial income tax paid. Details on the amount of the kickback system have not been determined.

This proposed tax will raise questions with regards to Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms section 6, which declares:

6(1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

6(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right (a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and (b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.

More details on the roll out of this tax will be available in October 2018. The proposed wording and intent may change dramatically.

The mere announcement has sparked a number of property owners from Alberta and Ontario to list and sell. This government action will raise inventory on vacation properties, luxury properties, and investment properties, especially in markets like Kelowna, Victoria, and small towns.

Vancouver based developer eyes Cook St Village for 48 units + CRU’s

Aragon Properties of Vancouver is actively investing and developing in Greater Victoria. The company is behind the new Esquimalt Town Square, 755 Cordova Bay Road, Lampson English Inn, and Cook Street Village developments.

Aragon recently submitted a rezoning and DP application to the City of Victoria for review. Prior to the submission that developer consulted with neighbourhood on 5 occasions to refine the project.

The Lands 

Address Size (SF) Zone Code Price
1044 Pendergast 6,345 (47×135) R-K $1,000,000
1048 Pendergast 6,345 (47×135) R-K $1,000,000
1052/54 Pendergast 6,345 (47×135) R-K $1,000,000
324 Cook St 11,907 CR-3M $4,124,000
TOTAL 30,942  $7,124,000

The sale closed on August 31, 2017 and was a brokered deal between private investors (US and Canada).

The four parcels encompassed by the proposal are 2,875 sq.m. in total area and are currently occupied by 3 detached houses (none are registered or designated heritage) and a one-storey commercial building.

The Development Proposal

The site is planned to be rezoned for a 4-storey plus mezzanine mixed use commercial and residential building.

Site Area 30,942 SF
Floor Space Ratio (FSR) 2.19:1
Buildable SF 67,763 SF
Price/Buildable $105/pbsf
Parking Stall 80 surface/underground

This is one of the first sales in Greater Victoria in 2017 to break the $100/pbsf threshold. Not surprising giving the market conditions and fantastic location of this property.

Residential Component

One Bedrooms 11
Two Bedrooms 27
Three Bedrooms 10
Total # Units 48

All units that are 732-795 sq.ft. will be one-bedrooms, twobedrooms are 1,064 to 1,471 sq.ft., and three-bedrooms are 1,265 to 1,660 sq.ft

A mezzanine floor is proposed at the north west corner of the building. 3 suites on level 4 will have individual mezzanine space and outdoor roof top patios facing south. The concept for this 5th floor space was developed in direct response to from neighbours at 380 Cook Street, as it allows an increase in the setback between the 2 buildings by shifting floor area from levels 1-4 to the mezzanine.

The project will include at grade parking off Cook Street and underground parking accessed from the south side of the property along Pendergast to provide a total of 88 parking stalls for the 48 residential units and 5,400 sq.ft. of commercial space. Additionally, secure bicycle rooms well-located at grade and in the parkade will accommodate the required 51 Class-1 bike racks. 12 additional Class-2 racks are located at the Cook and Pendergast frontage and at the parking area accessed off Cook Street.

The city of Victoria parking requirement for this project is 85 parking spaces. Parking study conducted by Watt Consulting suggests the proposal satisfies parking demand.


78 unit mixed use development proposed at Shelbourne & McKenzie

Formerly the site of a Shell gas station, the, 14,400 square foot property at 3949 Shelbourne Street has applied for a site specific rezone (CD-1) to house a six-storey, 78-unit purpose-built rental complex with two ground floor commercial units.

The anticipated unit make-up will yield a mix of 68 studio and one-bedroom residences and 10 two-bedroom suites. An underground parking component accessible off of McKenzie Avenue will accommodate 20 vehicles. This is a big variance to the 117 parking stalls required.

Development Proposal
Site Size: 14,400 SF
FSR: 3.65
Buildable SF: 57,302
Unit Mix: 87% Studio, 13% 2 bedroom

Property owner UCANCO GENERAL PARTNERS INC. is a USA foreign entity operating in St Louis, MO. acquired the property in May 2016 for $800,000. The sale was part of a large portfolio of over 135 Shell properties across Canada.The transaction enabled Shell the ability to divest non-core, contaminated real estate, transfer the environmental liabilities to a third party, and guarantee clean-up of the environmental conditions. For more information on the sale read the case study. 

Local development company NVision Properties is overseeing the development process.

70 residential units, 12 storey’s proposed at Esquimalt Rd & Head St

1104488 B.C. LTD. a division of Vancouver based Lexi Group has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Esquimalt for its property at 899 Esquimalt Road, located at the SE corner of Esquimalt Road & Head Street.

The proposed 12 storey tower will offer 70 residential dwellings on floors 2-12, and 3 townhome units with commercial space on the podium. A second floor terrace facing North will be available for residents. The properties slope and height would grant it unobstructed views of Victoria’s Harbour.

Land Size 14,639 Sq FT
Proposed FSR 3.9
Buildable SF 57,082 sq FT
Parking Ratio 1.25 /unit
Unit sizes 625 – 890 Sq FT
Land Assessed Value $1,738,000
OCP Designation Commercial – Mixed Use

The OCP update (in progress) proposes up to 12 storey’s on this site, consistent with the proposal and other nearby developments.

Since the proposal exceed a 3.0 FSR, the 0.9 additional density triggers additional amenity contributions. The applicant has not yet disclosed their CAC’s.

 Photo: Feb 6, 2018.

83 rental apartments + 4 rental townhomes at Quadra & Southgate

Analogue Projects, a related company to Surfside Holdings has submitted a rezoning and development permit application to the City of Victoria for a six-storey 83 unit rental apartment building and 4 rental townhouse units overtop of one underground level of parking and bicycle storage in the Fairfield neighbourhood.

Surfside Holdings currently owns the existing 34 unit rental apartment, Beacon Arms, at 505 Quadra. Over the last 20 years the company has assembled adjacent properties in anticipation of its inevitable redevelopment. This site is well situated across the street from Mayors Grove at Beacon Hill park which features an impressive selection of garry oak trees and is walking distance to inner harbour, downtown, and vibrant Cook Street village.

In addition to Beacon Arms apartments, Surfside Holdings owns and manages additional 160 units in Fairfield and James Bay. As a long time responsible landlord, Surfside has earned a solid reputation as a provider of safe and secure housing in the neighbourhood. Analogue Projects owns 116 units of rental housing in Fairfield and James Bay. These units are being offered to the remaining 10 residents of Beacon Arms on a priority basis when they become available. The developer has also engaged a tenant relocation coordinator.

The Development Site

505, 517, 519, 521 Quadra Street and 931 Convent Place

The 40,231 square foot site is comprised of four parcels with differing zoning which allows for a maximum of 4-storeys. However, the site is designated as Urban Residential in Victoria’s OCP which targets built form of multi-unit buildings to be up to 6-storeys.

  • Proposed FSR: 2.07:1 (consistent with Urban Residential in OCP )
  • Height: 6-storey (19.9 metres)
  • Site Coverage: 40%
  • Unit Mix: 42 one-bedrooms, 41 two-bedrooms, 4 three-bedroom townhomes
  • Gross Floor Area: 83,130 with 89% efficency
  • Parking: 87 residents (1 per/suite) + 8 visitors = 95

    An illuminated building sign has been added to the north façade.

    Stucco and cornice elements on the multi-unit apartment have been changed from charcoal to white. The brick coverage on the west elevation of the multi-unit apartment building has been modified to provide variation to the façade.

Surfside Holdings Quadra & Convent

PIDCivic AddressZone CodeZone DescriptionOCPNCPRegistered OwnerWidthDepthLot SizeSales HistoryYear ConstructedActual Land Use2016 Assessed Land Value2016 Assessed Total Value
000-057-070505 QUADRA ST VictoriaR3-AM-1Mid-Rise Multiple Dwelling DistrictUrban Place Designation: Urban ResidentialNeighbourhood Plan: FairfieldSURFSIDE HOLDINGS LTD.n/an/a23,7511965MULTI-FAMILY (APARTMENT BLOCK) $2,455,000 $5,384,000
009-425-675931 CONVENT PL VictoriaR-KMedium Density Attached Dwelling DistrictUrban Place Designation: Urban ResidentialNeighbourhood Plan: FairfieldSURFSIDE HOLDINGS LTD.451205,4001903SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING $717,000 $769,300
009-397-531517 QUADRA ST VictoriaR3-A1Low Profile Multiple Dwelling DistrictUrban Place Designation: Urban ResidentialNeighbourhood Plan: FairfieldSURFSIDE HOLDINGS LTD.60985,8806/12/2007 $700,000.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH1939SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING $739,000 $805,000
008-315-957519 QUADRA ST VictoriaR3-A1Low Profile Multiple Dwelling DistrictUrban Place Designation: Urban ResidentialNeighbourhood Plan: FairfieldSURFSIDE HOLDINGS LTD.601116,6608/29/2008 $767,000.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH;

2/1/2005 $420,000.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH
1940DUPLEX, NON-STRATA SIDE BY SIDE OR $782,000 $895,000

Overview of ‘The Beacon’ apartments and townhomes

The siting and massing is appropriate for the area. The multi-storey apartment building will be on the SW corner of the site fronting onto Quadra, and the townhouse units massing along Convent will help ease the transition between the neighbouring single family homes.

There are no bylaw-protected trees within the property boundary in direct conflict with the building footprint that require removal prior to construction.

As typical with new development, the neighbourhood feedback was concerned with traffic and parking. The developer has been generous in providing a ratio of greater than 1.0 parking space per suite. Parking for the project will be entirely secure and underground with 95 tenant and visitor parking spaces for the 87 suites. An additional 110 bicycle stalls will be provided. This level of parking meets the Proposed Bylaw minimum of 95 spaces, based on the cities Off-Street Parking Review.

The project is under review at City Hall, and is anticipated to gain full support and approval in the coming months as appetite for new rental product in this area is insatiable. The existing structures are approaching the end of their useful service life, and the new proposal respects the surrounding neighbourhood and OCP guidelines. Fairfield is home to a significant number of apartment buildings. This projects supports the goal to maintain neighbourhood population to ensure to support the viability of community and commercial services and schools. This will be an excellent addition to the area with quick access to downtown, Beacon Hill park, and Cook Street village.

Active Multi-Family Development in Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt, Oak Bay

Victoria is on its largest construction boom in many decades. Driving around town you will be sure to see many active construction sites, cranes, and empty properties waiting for rezoning. To get a sense of the scale of supply coming to market, I have attached a comprehensive list of multi-family development (condo, rental, low-income, senior, etc) in the Victoria Core courtesy of Yellow Sheet Analytics. 

Highlights of CRD core* (Sept 2016 – Aug 2017):

  • 3,753 units at City Hall seeking approvals
  • 2,809 units actively under construction
  • 1,263 units completed construction phase

*CRD core includes Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich

Much of the development is currently focused on purpose-built rental. However, we may experience a large shift in projects that are under-construction or initial planning as ‘purpose built rental’ to change its end user to ‘stratified for-sale condominiums’ due to rent-control expansion by BC’s new NDP government. A similar shift has been seen in Ontario where rental buildings transitioned to for-sale condos because of strict government controls on landlords. Further intervention into the rental market will have the unintended consequence of limiting the supply of new rental housing, only exaggerating the existing rental crisis in markets like Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria.

For a list of all projects grouped by their current stage as of Aug 31, 2017 contact Dustin Miller.

13 townhomes approved for Cloverdale four-corners

Seba Construction acquired three RS-6 single family home lots near the Cloverdale/Quadra/Cook intersection and subsequently submitted a rezoning application for 13 townhouse units consisting of one block of 4-units and three blocks of 3-units. The developer attained unanimous approval for rezone to RT-FC (Attached Housing Four Corners) Zone. A development permit has since been issued.

The project is now being marketed as Merridian Row.


Land acquisition cost: $1,400,000
Site area: 2,662 m2 or 28,223 sqft
Price/sqft land: $49.60

Density: 1 unit per 202 m2  or 2,174 sqft
Townhouse size range: 1,500 – 1,800 sqft
Parking: 23 for residents, and 5 visitor = 28 stalls

PIDCivic AddressMunicipalityZone CodeZone DescriptionLocal Area PlanRegistered OwnerLot SizeSales HistoryYear ConstructedActual Land Use2016 Assessed Total Value
005-990-9551052 CLOVERDALE AVE SaanichSaanichRS-6Single Family Dwelling ZoneSaanich CoreGILL, JAGTEJ SINGH7,7635/30/2016 $385,750.00 Type: MULTIPLE PROPERTY;

7/18/1997 $173,000.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH;

7/18/1997 $172,700.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH
004-974-2711032 CLOVERDALE AVE SaanichSaanichRS-6Single Family Dwelling ZoneSaanich CoreGILL, JAGTEJ SINGH10,8535/30/2016 $539,300.00 Type: VACANT SINGLE PROPERTY;

2/28/2005 $305,000.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH;

6/14/2002 $210,000.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH
005-991-5791042 CLOVERDALE AVE SaanichSaanichRS-6Single Family Dwelling ZoneSaanich CoreGILL, JAGTEJ SINGH9,5585/31/2016 $474,950.00 Type: MULTIPLE PROPERTY;

4/18/2013 $390,000.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH;

6/14/1999 $160,000.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH

The project is consistent with the Official Community Plan and ‘Saanich Core’ Local Area Plan (1999), which supports a large range of housing types within Village Centres including townhouses up to three storeys in height.

Approved at Saanich City council on June 28, 2017 pending the registration of a covenant for:

  • built GREEN Gold or EnerGuide 82, including installation of heat pumps for each dwelling
  • Preparation of conduit and piping to be solar ready for future installation of solar or hot water heating systems
  • $14,000 to be used for the construction of a children’s water spray pad and washrooms at Rutledge Park
  • $14,000 to the Saanich affordable housing fund
  • $26,000 to the Saanich Transportation Fund
Designer :- Outline Home Design – Cobble Hill – 250-818-3981
General Contractor :- Seba Construction Ltd – 1167 Jolivet Cres, Victoria V8X 3P3 Ph: 250-516-1224
Surveyor :- Powell and Associates – 2950 Douglas St, Unit 250, Victoria V8T 4N4 Ph: 250-382-8855


Vancouver based investor acquires 3/4 acre in Harris Green

The parking lots beside View Street Towers have been acquired by Vancouver based multifamily investor, Gordon Nelson Group. Both the parcels have an OCP designation of ‘Core Residential’ which recommends an FSR of up to 5.5:1 with a height of up to 20 storeys.

In November 2016 Gordon Nelson acquired the two large surface parking lots at 930 Fort Street and 937 View Street for a combined price of $4,025,000. Gordon Nelson has since submitted two separate rezoning applications for each parcel. Gordon Nelson is an experienced multifamily investor with assets in Vancouver, Victoria, and Tofino.

More information on the two applications for multifamily apartments:
930 Fort Street 
937 View Street

Gordon Nelson later acquired a third adjacent property, 941 View Street, eight months after the initial acquisition of the surface parking lots. The Vendor of 941 View (1109614 B.C. Ltd.) who sold to Gordon Nelson (1121447 B.C. LTD.) only held the property for 2 months and made a gross profit of $275,000.

The recent acquisitions now provides the Gordon Nelson group with 33,186 square feet or 3/4 acre of prime development land in the Harris Green neighbourhood of downtown Victoria.

Gordon Nelson Land Acquisitions Downtown Victoria

PIDCivic AddressMunicipalityZone CodeZone DescriptionOCPRegistered OwnerLot SizeSales HistoryActual Land Use2016 Assessed Total Value
000-410-233937 VIEW ST VictoriaVictoriaR-48Harris Green DistrictUrban Place Designation: Urban Core Residential1092871 B.C. LTD.16,91711/30/2016 $3,371,035.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASHPARKING (LOT ONLY, PAVED OR$2,871,500.00
004-121-325941 VIEW ST VictoriaVictoriaS-1Limited Service DistrictUrban Place Designation: Urban Core Residential1121447 B.C. LTD.7,2486/7/2017 $1,475,000.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH;

4/12/2017 $1,200,000.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH
000-416-592930 FORT ST VictoriaVictoriaCA-42Harris Green Commercial DistrictUrban Place Designation: Urban Core Residential1092874 B.C. LTD.9,02111/30/2016 $653,964.00 Type: MULTIPLE PROPERTYPARKING (LOT ONLY, PAVED OR$1,205,400.00

The Harris Green neighbourhood has seen a significant amount of investment from Vancouver based developers. The neighbourhood is centre stage for the over 2,000 dwelling units currently under construction. In the past 20 years it has had a 44% growth rate, the second highest in the City. Harris Green is a commercial centre secondary to downtown, with retail and business uses primarily along Johnson Street and Fort Street. This neighbourhood is the second most dense in the city with only five single detached homes.

56 unit multifamily proposed for north side of Hillside Mall

Abstract Developments has submitted a re-zoning application to the District of Saanich to permit a 56 unit multifamily apartment building.

Abstract’s 56 unit building sites encompasses 4 single family lots designated as 4-storey apartment in the Hillside Centre area of the Shelbourne Valley Plan.
1586, 1588, 1592 North Dairy Rd and 3200 Wordsworth Street

Civic AddressMunicipalityZone CodeZone DescriptionLocal Area PlanRegistered OwnerWidthDepthLot SizeSales HistoryYear Constructed2016 Assessed Total Value
1586 NORTH DAIRY RD SaanichSaanichRS-6Single Family Dwelling ZoneShelbourneNORTH DAIRY HOLDINGS INC.55.51407,7704/19/2016 $550,000.00 Type: MULTIPLE PROPERTY1953$574,100
1588 NORTH DAIRY RD SaanichSaanichRS-6Single Family Dwelling ZoneShelbourneNORTH DAIRY HOLDINGS INC.55.51407,7704/19/2016 $550,000.00 Type: MULTIPLE PROPERTY;

7/30/2002 $174,900.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH
1592 NORTH DAIRY RD SaanichSaanichRS-6Single Family Dwelling ZoneShelbourneNORTH DAIRY HOLDINGS INC.55.51407,7704/19/2016 $550,000.00 Type: VACANT SINGLE PROPERTY;

7/30/2002 $184,900.00 Type: IMPRV SINGLE PROPERTY CASH
3200 WORDSWORTH ST SaanichSaanichRS-6Single Family Dwelling ZoneShelbourneSELLARS, ELIZABETH MARDI55.51407,770Jan 2017

Project Overview

    • FSR: 1:1.66
    • 3 studio, 9 x 1 bed, 25 x 1bed + den, 9 x 2 bed, 10 x 2 bed + den = 56 units
    • contribution of $1500 per unit to the affordable housing fund.
    • Height: 4 storey
    • Parking:  39 ground level residential, 5 visitor, 1 pick-up/drop-off, 58 bike stalls
    • Acquisition Cost (4 lots): $2,236,700
    • Total Site Area:  31,080 sqft
    • Price/sqft land: $71.97
    • Price/buildable sqft: $43.35
    • Blended Price/lot: $559,175

The professional team driving the project is listed below:

Architect :- Low Hammond Rowe Architects Inc – 1590 Cedar Hill Cross Rd, Unit 300, Victoria V8Y 2P5 Ph: 250-472-8013
Developer :- Abstract Developments – 1976 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria V8R 1E2 Ph: 250-883-5579
Landscape Architect :- LADR Landscape Architects   – 495 Dupplin Rd, Unit 2B, Victoria V8Z 1B8 Ph: 250-598-0105
Structural Engineer :- Hoel Engineering – 40 Cadillac Ave, Unit 3A, Victoria V8Z 1T2 Ph: 250-475-6906
Civil Engineer :- JE Anderson and Assoc – Victoria – 4212 Glanford Ave, Victoria V8Z 4B7 Ph: 250-727-2214
Surveyor :- Powell and Associates – 2950 Douglas St, Unit 250, Victoria V8T 4N4 Ph: 250-382-8855

Cedar Hill Road – 3 Lot Subdivision

Aplomado Developments Ltd is seeking conditional approval to subdivide a ~24,655 sqft lot at 3601 Cedar Hill Road.

The irregular shaped 0.57 acre RS-6 zoned lot was purchased in November 2016 for $980,000 and subsequently sold again in May 2017 for $1,625,000 to LIKE A DREAM CONSTRUCTION LTD.

Value Metrics:
Price/sqft land: $65.91
Price/lot: $541,667

The original house will remain, and respect its historic roots as 1908 McMorran Residence. Developer submission available here.