Renderings of the proposed hotel that would go along the 700-block of Fort Street and the 1100-block of Blanshard Street, along with the winter garden that would sit on the south corner of the project. (Provided by David Fullbrook)

Renderings of the proposed hotel that would go along the 700-block of Fort Street and the 1100-block of Blanshard Street, along with the winter garden that would sit on the south corner of the project. (Provided by David Fullbrook)

Blanshard Block developer aims to complete heritage, tower project without displacing current tenants

Community members commend the move at public meeting on Wednesday night

It was a full house at a community meeting centered around a proposed redevelopment of properties along the 700-block of Fort Street and the 1100-block of Blanshard Street on Wednesday evening.

The project, brought forward by Merchant House Capital and dubbed the ‘Blanshard Block,’ would see a triangular-shaped tower that would house a number of residential suites, a winter garden, a hotel and a restaurant or bar.

David Fullbrook, CEO of Merchant House Capital, told the room of more than two dozen community members about the inspiration behind the project and his love of the Montrose apartment building — “the jewel of the project.”

The site was acquired by Merchant House Capital about a year ago, and in that time a number of smaller-scale renovations have taken place to upgrade several of the residential suites in an aim to preserve and protect the original building, which Fullbrook wants to have designated as a heritage building.

RELATED: High-rise hotel proposed for downtown Victoria location

One of the main draws of the project, that received a number of compliments from those in the audience, is the fact that the developers will undertake the whole project while keeping all the commercial and residential tenants. Currently, the site is occupied by a Monk Office, the Self-Heal Herbal Center, Elder Chiropractic, Chimoto, Italian Food Imports, Guitar Plus, Better Choice Staffing and residential units in the top two floors of the heritage-registered Montrose apartment building.

When pressed further on how exactly this would happen, Fullbrook stated that the aim was to renovate a block of space, have tenants move into those suites and then renovate the newly-empty suites.

READ ALSO: Times Colonist building to get a facelift

Another big attraction of the project is a winter garden that would be shared between hotel guests, residential tenants and the public. The winter garden would sit inside the south-facing corner of Blanshard Street and Fort Street, which Fullbrook said was inspired by the need for something “grand” in that space.

The high-rise triangular tower won’t have balconies so as not to get in the way of the view of the St. Andrew’s Cathedral spire. The project got some pushback on the addition of two floors, making it 18 to 20 storeys high. Residents cited concerns of economic viability.

The Blanshard Block would see three levels of parking underground, with room on the second and third floor for smaller specialty office spaces. The fourth floor would house a restaurant or bar and the hotel – in the triangular-shaped tower – is meant to have an “AirBnB” feel, allowing those who travel to the city on business to be where the locals are.

The timeline of the project remains unclear, but Fullbrook estimates it will be about two years before scaffolding would go up.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of VictoriaHeritage

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Andrew Swanson was arrested Wednesday after he was wanted for an alleged choking assault and for obstructing police. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police arrest Andrew Swanson on warrants for alleged choking assault, obstruction

A member of the public spotted Swanson and called 911 before police came and made the arrest

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth sustains minor injuries in stabbing at Saanich Plaza

Suspect under age of 16 taken into custody, no risk to the public, police say

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

With the help of a $110,000 federal grant, Saanich will be adding 22 new EV chargers for its municipal fleet to reduce emissions from district operations. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich adds 22 new EV chargers for municipal fleet to reduce corporate emissions

Federal grant adds $110,000 jolt to project, installation to be completed fall 2022

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports 1st vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

Most Read