Rendering shows the finished Customs House residential/commercial project at Government and Wharf streets. Site work for the luxury homes project is due to start this fall, with the projected completion time early 2020. Courtesy Edelman

HOMEFINDER: Customs House envisions Inner Harbour luxury in Victoria

Residential project blends heritage features with modern design

When people think about residential development in downtown Victoria, high-end luxury isn’t necessarily the first thing that springs to mind.

Stan Sipos and his Cielo Properties aim to change that with the Customs House project, which is part heritage revitalization and part new construction and begins development next month. The 57 residential suites will be comfortably sized between 1,450 and 4,400 square feet, with 10- to 13-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows in some cases and of course, the unparalleled view of Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

“Our objective was to design a building that is not only modern, but is respectful to the old,” he said. He envisions something akin to the luxury apartments lining Central Park in New York, or in old London. “Something that [doesn’t] discredit or reduce the fabric of the neighbourhood,” he said.

Sipos isn’t shy about the target market for these high-end homes, 40 per cent of which have already sold. Some suites have fetched more than $2,000 per square foot, said to be a record for Victoria.

Cielo Properties – cielo is the Spanish word for heaven – has a wealth of experience building transformative projects around Victoria. The Vogue on Government Street between Johnson Street and Pandora Avenue was a non-descript former government office building that became a sought-after residence with a solid anchor tenant in Mountain Equipment Co-Op at street level.

“When we converted that into residences and MEC became the main tenant there, it transformed the whole core,” he said, adding that it generated huge traffic to an area that had previously been avoided.

While the Customs House site is one of the gateways to the city’s downtown, it has long been lacking vibrancy and engagement at the street level, Sipos said.

The City of Victoria’s plans to revitalize Ship Point across Wharf Street from the Courtenay Street side of this block will dovetail nicely into plans for the site, he said. The Customs House project will seek out very exclusive, unique street-level retailers – Sipos said he’d love to get an Apple store as a tenant.

“This has tremendous potential to create a new sense of quality and vitality. With the new parkette at Ship Point and other changes to the area, the fabric of the neighbourhood will change.”

So far, sales inquiries have come in from virtually around the world: New York, Singapore, Europe, even Dubai, as well as from locals and elsewhere in Canada.

With a unique location in the heart of the Inner Harbour, Sipos feels a strong responsibility and a passion to make the most of the opportunity to develop here.

“We’ve worked harder on this than any project I’ve ever worked on to make sure we have everything right, from the storefronts to the look of the buildings. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity really. We have a project that is front and centre for our city.”

For more details, visit customshouse.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Man arrested at gunpoint outside Vic High

Police were called after he allegedly threatened a teacher with a knife

Man struck and killed on the Pat Bay Highway

Pedestrian struck while crossing near Mount Newton X Rd in Central Saanich

Cancer DriveLine seeks volunteers in Sooke

Non-profit organization helps cancer patients in Greater Victoria get to medical appointments

WATCH: Officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

Joining the new wave of women in trades

Pair of Saanich residents among women joining trades

WATCH: Officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

VIDEO: B.C. ‘escapologist’ stuns judges on Britain’s Got Talent

Matt Johnson says televised water stunt was closest he’s come to death

B.C. hires 20 more conservation officers

The province announces 12 new locations for conservation officer services this year

Role models key to women’s success in science

While women represent the majority of university graduates, far fewer are in STEM fields

B.C. pharmacist pleads guilty to animal cruelty charge

Joelle Mbamy was handed $1k fine, on top of $5k fine already imposed, and 10-year animal prohibition

‘N’ driver in McLaren caught going 70 km/hr in playground zone

Vancouver police said the driver was fined $368 and the luxury car impounded for seven days

Dr. LipJob ordered to stop doing botox and other medical procedures

Rajdeep Kaur Khakh ordered to stop unlawful practice of medicine

B.C. to prevent for-profit blood, plasma collection

Voluntary Blood Donations Act would make it illegal to pay for blood, plasma donations

Bill Cosby guilty in sexual assault case

Comedian convicted of drugging and molesting a woman

Most Read