Sooke is on the cusp of major development in the coming weeks and months.
And it’s a sign, the community is beginning to flourish, said Mayor Maja Tait.
Four of the developments include a new Vancouver Island Regional Library on Townsend Road, the Western Harbour Cohousing on Sooke Road, the Knox Centre, affordable housing project on Church Road, and the Sooke Brewing Company on Otter Point. Road.
The current library lease will expire at the end of the year, with no option of renewal.
Tait said the district has been on a waiting list for a new structure for 14 years. She noted that a new and bigger library will help cater to the community’s growing population.
The new library is hoped to be open by fall 2018 and is expected to be about 10,000 square feet in size.
Tait said the new library is important because it provides access to literacy and is a very valued and well-used amenity within Sooke.
Because Sooke’s population is increasing so rapidly, new housing structures are also being set in place. The Knox Centre is going to have 42 new units built for people to rent at an affordable price.
“It’s going to be a clean and safe environment for people to live, that is right close to the core so people won’t have to worry about parking and transportation won’t become a problem,” said MJ Whitemarsh, vice chair of building at Knox Vision Society.
The four-storey building will be made up of one, two and three bedroom units, and will also feature a coffee shop, wheelchair accessible rooms, a church office, and a charging station for those who own scooters.
“It will be a really great place to live, especially when it’s located in a beautiful place like Sooke,” Whitemarsh said.
Another housing development taking shape tis the Western Harbour Cohousing. Fifteen 15 people are committed to buying one of the 32 units. Cohousing is a non-traditional and communal way of living, as people share common areas such as cooking spaces.
Margaret Critchlow, who lives in cohousing in Sooke, said this way of living is great for people in their second half of life because it allows them to grow old in a socially positive environment.
“It’s also nice for young families because of the community feel, and because everyone helps each other,” she said.
The original plan for the development began in April 2016, and the building will be located on 6603 Sooke Rd, west of Marine’s Village. Cohousing Development Consulting is hoping to start construction in 2018 and finish in 2020.
With more people comes more business opportunities, and for all the craft beer lovers around, another exciting up-and-coming structure is the Sooke Brewing Company.
The owner of the building, Carl Scott, said that he and his partners are excited to start up a full-service craft brewery in Sooke.
Scott explained that the new brewery will be great for tourism because craft beer is such a popular trend right now.
“The craft beer industry has become very popular. I’ve already had people reach out and show interest in coming on a brewery tour here, so I think it’s going to draw a lot of people to Sooke,” said Scott.
The building is approximately 3,500 square feet in size and is planned to be open by mid to late October this year. Along with 16 beers on tap, the brewery will feature a year-round patio and lounge.
“I’ve grown up in Sooke, so having an opportunity to build something unique in Sooke that will add to the community has been a fun project for sure.”