Contemporary Rental Homes to Bolster Urban Village Vibrancy
At the Junction of Kings Road and Fifth Street.
Located at the corner of Kings Road and Fifth Street, the building is seen as expressing—through form and materials—the vibrant context of the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood. Playful pops of colour on each balcony, vibrant planting materiality and a spacious hardscaped entrance animate this area while working together to create a sense of place and arrival.
This proposed development seeks to provide a more urban, street-oriented building that is compatible with the evolving neighbourhood.
Urban Village Vibrancy
Friendly to the Street
Purpose-Built Rental Housing
This area of the Quadra Village neighbourhood includes a heterogeneous mix of commercial and residential uses, with a mix of single-family character homes and multi-family buildings along Fifth Street and a wide range of retail, commercial businesses, and services along Quadra Street. The subject site is also less than 500 metres from the north edge of Victoria’s downtown core area.
The building grain peaks on Quadra Street and tapers as you move East off this main road which is a typical land use pattern for the City. The footprint of the existing building is symptomatic of its era with larger setbacks from the street which results in a fragmented urban design program.
Modern design narratives seek to bring more intimacy to the street with tighter urban setbacks with the balance of the design program being driven by rental utility and energy efficiency. This location is well supported by walking, cycling, transit, parks, schools, retail and service offerings which makes it a great place for incremental density.
The subject property is located within the Quadra Large Urban Village.
In the Official Community Plan, Urban Villages are envisioned to absorb 40% of all population growth yet they only make up 3.5% of the City’s land base. It is for this reason that we need to be careful about redevelopment to ensure these scarce lands are utilized appropriately.
The housing forms characterizing these areas are low-rise and mid-rise multi-unit buildings up to six storeys including townhouses and apartments, freestanding commercial and mixed-use buildings.
The density envisioned for the Large Urban Villages areas is up to 2.5 FSR. Our project, as proposed, is at 2.93 FSR which is above the Official Community Plan allowance. There are provisions in the Official Community Plan to exceed the stated density for the advancement of certain plan objectives, in our case, the objectives are rental housing, affordable housing and public art.
Housing Strategy Phase 1 & 2
Go Victoria Mobility Plan
Climate Leadership Plan
Upcoming Missing Middle Housing Study
Dozens of action items in the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan
Housing is a human right and with homeownership increasingly out of step with local incomes, Purpose-Built Rental (PBR) housing is the strongest form of tenure and represents a possible—and sometimes beneficial—alternative to homeownership.
The 1960s and 1970s introduced the first series of apartment buildings built under the Federal multi-unit residential building (MURB) program that incentivized many of the rental apartments built throughout the Capital Region. As this program was phased out, only 604 purpose-built rental homes were built between 1980 and 2011, however, the city’s population grew by 20,018 residents. Herein lies the problem; population growth outnumbered rental housing construction by more than 20 to 1 creating a significant shortage of supply.
As shown on the map, the yellow zoning area prohibits multi-family homes. Since 60% of Victoria residents are renters, and of these renters, 86% live in multi-family housing, the map shows us that 67% of the City is off limits to 24,000 people. If we are going to make urban progress in affordability, climate change, and social equity, we need to increase rental housing across the city in areas well connected to walk, bike and transit corridors.
This proposal seeks to provide a more urban, street-oriented building that is compatible with the evolving neighbourhood.
Positioned at the corner of Kings Road and Fifth Street, the bulk of the six storey massing has been deliberately pushed north onto Kings Road, stepping down to five stories as it meets the recently completed rental apartment building–directly to the south at 2570 Fifth Street. Corner balconies in various depths help to further ‘erode’ the massing and visually increase the building setbacks.
Kings Road functions as the ‘front door’ to the building, providing access to the underground parkade, secure bicycle storage at grade, and the pedestrian building entrance. Intimate setbacks enhance the urban streetscape along Kings Road, in addition to the vibrant landscape design.
The building is set back along Fifth Street to align and maintain the continuity of the street frontage with 2570 Fifth Street. The introduction of patio units complements the transition to the neighbouring residential houses to the east and helps to maintain the quiet residential character of the street.
The design of the building takes its cues from the colourful, dynamic and vital neighbourhood of Hillside-Quadra. As downtown slowly fades into Fernwood to the east and Burnside-Gorge to the west, Hillside-Quadra functions as the northern extension of the urban intensity of the core.
This vibrancy is translated into eclectic architecture from all eras of Victoria’s growth, a diverse population, and many beloved local businesses, both old and new. Following this spirit of regeneration and opportunity, 1025 Kings Road is a nod to the modernist apartment buildings of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s which are typical of the area, while also exhibiting a contemporary architectural expression and raising the standards of design within the neighbourhood.
Charcoal toned brick, black window frames and playful pops of colour mark both the building entries and exterior balcony spaces, while the main palette of the building is unobtrusive with the use of white cementitious panels.
A feature wall at the ground floor bicycle room entrance will introduce light and colour into the public realm via a custom light installation or mural visible through a wall of storefront glazing. The building is grounded by a vibrant planting materiality which extends into the public realm and creates a sense of place.
Kings Road extends west and east, while Fifth Street extends north and south, both are a two-way streets and classified by the City of Victoria as a local road.
The Fifth Street and Kings Road intersection to the north of the development site operates under stop control for Fifth Street. Fifth Street traffic is restricted to right-in and right-out only turn movements.
From the subject property’s doorstep there are diverse cycle routes, bus routes and walking options.
The City of Victoria’s twenty-five year transportation masterplan places even more focus and investment in alternative transportation options with additional transit service and bike lanes planned for the area, including an All Ages and Abilities (AAA) shared-use bikeway along Kings Road planned for construction in 2021.
Quadra Street extending north and south is classified by the City of Victoria as an arterial road.
As an integrated team of home builders, developers and urban planners, we’re deeply committed to increasing the quality of housing—and the quality of communities—in Victoria, BC.
Approaching every project with intention and care, we aim to contribute to the built environment in a way that enhances your sense of space and your sense of place. It’s in this commitment that we strive to create a lasting impression on the cities, neighbourhoods and homes in which we build.
We're committed to being good neighbours and having an open, honest dialogue within the communities we do our work. We’re available to discuss development details with community members through a variety of channels, building trust and establishing a shared vision for the project, all while maintaining respectful and transparent communication.
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1839 Fairfield Road
Victoria, BC V8S 1G9
250 940 3568