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Designs come in for more than 200 apartments in Chase River in Nanaimo

Development permit application has been submitted for 1300 Junction Ave.
An artist’s rendering of a proposed development at 1300 Junction Ave. (WestUrban Developments/Thuja Architecture and Design image)

A significant residential development project in south Nanaimo is now into the design phase.

The City of Nanaimo has received a development permit application for three four-storey apartment buildings with a combined 213 units at 1300 Junction Ave. at Tenth Street. The city’s design advisory panel had a chance to look at the designs last month.

The applicant, WestUrban Developments Ltd., partnered with Thuja Architecture and Design on the buildings, which will each consist of 39 one-bedroom units, 24 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units. Each building will have 44 underground parking spaces and surface parking on the property will provide another 135 spaces.

Nanaimo city council re-zoned the property to a mixed-use corridor designation last year, and the development permit application is not proposing any variances.

“The development conforms to the zoning and development permit bylaws and will positively contribute toward the goal of densifying the ‘town centre’ of Chase River,” wrote Tanis Schulte, architect, in the application.

A city staff report noted that the buildings “reflect the Finnish agrarian style as recommended by the Chase River town centre design guidelines.” Lainya Rowett, the city’s manager of current planning, said the design advisory panel accepted the design as presented and provided some recommendations.

“In principle, they feel they have a design that meets the guidelines, but with some things that are important to work through with staff,” she said, mentioning improved pedestrian connectivity in the parking area as an example.

Sarah Alexander, director of development with WestUrban, told the panel that the project provides “much-needed” new and diversified housing in Nanaimo.

“Approval of this site will enable the development of under-utilized land while using existing infrastructure,” she said. “It’s located near employment centres, schools and community amenities and therefore will be a prime rental location.”

Mike Parker, chairperson for the Chase River Community Association, said in an e-mail that the association is looking forward to the development proceeding.

RELATED: Complex with more than 200 apartments pitched for Nanaimo’s south end

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