Victoria Fire Chief Paul Bruce (from left) and Mayor Lisa Helps tour the new fire hall construction site. (Courtesy of City of Victoria)

Victoria Fire Chief Paul Bruce (from left) and Mayor Lisa Helps tour the new fire hall construction site. (Courtesy of City of Victoria)

New Victoria fire hall begins to take shape

Construction of the post-seismic hall expected to be complete by early 2023

Foundations have officially been laid at the site of what will be a brand new fire hall and affordable housing complex in Victoria.

First announced in 2018, the 41,700 square-foot Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre at 1025 Johnson St. will replace Victoria’s current 26,700 square-foot building on Yates Street. Included in the new 12-storey design are space for six fire hall vehicles, two ambulance bays, a headquarters for an Emergency Operations Centre and 130 affordable homes.

The homes, funded by BC Housing and operated by Pacifica Housing, will service low- and moderate-income seniors, families and individuals. Rental rates will slide in affordability based on household income.

B.C. Emergency Health Services has also agreed to lease 3,200 sq. ft. of the space for a stand-alone four-ambulance hall for paramedics under a 20-year co-service agreement.

READ ALSO: Last tweaks to new Victoria fire hall project coming to city council

On Tuesday, the city announced level one of the building’s concrete pours had been complete. It is being built to a seismic design load that is significantly higher than typical commercial buildings and, after an earthquake, will still be able to be safely re-entered and used for emergency services.

Construction of the fire hall is expected to be completed by early 2023, at which point the City of Victoria has agreed to purchase it for $33.7 million.

The 12-storey building is one of four phases planned for the area by Jawl Residential properties and Dalmatian Developments.

Phases two, three and four will be comprised of 14, 15 and 17-storey buildings which will also feature a mix of commercial, retail and restaurant space, as well as residential space varying from studio to three-bedroom homes. In total, the four phases will include more than 500 residential units.

READ ALSO: B.C. and Victoria’s overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared


 

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