Condo complex fills downtown Nanaimo spot

Foundations are being poured for Aqua Residences, a new six-storey condo complex at the corner of Skinner and Chapel streets.  - CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin
Foundations are being poured for Aqua Residences, a new six-storey condo complex at the corner of Skinner and Chapel streets.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

New construction keeps working its way into downtown Nanaimo’s available nooks and crannies.

The most recent project is Aqua Residences, a condominium complex going up in what was a small parking lot near the Skinner and Chapel streets intersection.

The building will be snuggled in behind the old Katrina’s Restaurant and Nanaimo courthouse. Because a Hilton Hotel that will block views of the harbour is proposed for Front street, the complex will be oriented to take advantage of views toward Departure Bay and Newcastle Channel.

John Nguyen, project developer, said the six-storey complex, including parkade, will add 20 121-square-metre condominium units when construction is complete in summer 2015.

Don’t bother asking the selling price of one of these condos, though.

“They’re all sold out a long time ago,” Nguyen said. “Now you have to build and keep everything under budget, which is kind of tough.”

The Chapel Street project will also feature a street-level, deli-style café, expected to draw traffic from the courthouse and nearby downtown residences and businesses.

Aqua will be Nguyen’s fourth project in Nanaimo. He said he was looking for an investment opportunity downtown.

“I like the downtown and I’d like to see it revitalized,” he said.

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