‘Full steam ahead’ for four-storey project at Cordova Bay Plaza

Work on a new four-storey condo-retail development in Cordova Bay Plaza continues, with digging expected to start in late summer or early fall, architect Alan Lowe said. “It’s full steam ahead.”

The plaza at 5120 and 5144 Cordova Bay Rd., south of Doumac Avenue, will host three four-storey buildings.

The developer hopes to see a grocery store, bank, pharmacy, coffee shop and possibly a medical clinic on the ground floor.

It will also include 91 condos and span 36,000 square feet over an underground parkade.

“We’re moving forward and working with our consultants to develop the drawings so that we can apply for a foundation permit, building permit,” Lowe said.

The site’s one-storey buildings have been demolished, including the Tru Value Foods grocery store, which closed last year.

Consultants are examining the water table and depth of the rock because it’s a wet site, Lowe said.

It will be about three years before the building is ready. While there’s interest, no tenants have been secured yet, Lowe said. It will be some time before prices of the condo units are determined and pre-sales can start.

Saanich council voted 8-1 in favour of a development permit for the project in January.

There were objections to the project. Some neighbours were concerned about the height and traffic it would draw.

The village-like oceanside area is dominated by one-storey buildings.

The Cordova Bay Village Vision group is among those who raised concerns. The group has sought legal advice about the local area plan.

Hanny Pannekoek, who founded the group when the old plaza was for sale, said members felt the local area plan, official community plan and the development and permit guidelines were in many cases “contradictory” or at least out of sync.

Members thought only two storeys would be allowed, she said.

Pannekoek said her group isn’t really fighting the development any longer but is focused on getting legal advice on how best to revise the area’s local area plan so that it better upholds the community’s vision.