The Esquimalt Town Square Project received a boost Tuesday with the purchase of a commercial building on the adjacent property.
Acquiring the land at 1237-1243 Esquimalt Rd., currently home to Crow’s Nest Antiques And More and a vacant storefront, was a huge opportunity, said Mayor Barb Desjardins. It will enhance the liveability of the community, enriching the core area with additional civic, commercial and residential space, she added. It is also in alignment with Esquimalt’s Official Community Plan and council’s strategic priorities regarding redevelopment of the area.
“We can now take a look at the whole block and think in terms of a multi-faceted development,” Desjardins said. “We’re looking at it from a much bigger picture, but in order to do that, the first thing we have to do is public consultation.”
The building currently on the property is at the end of its life cycle and will be dismantled and recycled where possible.
“While we’re doing that, we can gather info as to what the vision of the community might be to use that block to its full potential,” she elaborated.
The mayor expects the public consult process to start before the end of the year, saying it shouldn’t take long due to parameters included in the reserve funds from the wastewater treatment plant project. The project will utilize dollars allocated for public safety buildings given the close proximity to Esquimalt’s fire station and Victoria Police division on Park Place.
As for the current construction on the town square site, work is continuing to clear contamination in order to receive a certificate of compliance as required by the Ministry of Environment. “It used to be the public works site and there is some salt that has migrated,” Desjardins said, explaining the shift in the timeline.
“These will be exciting times for community input in the next six months,” she said. “We’ll also be looking at opportunities for partnership.”