The iconic Times Colonist building will get a new name, and a new look that will include a brewery, retail and residential space as it moves to create a thriving epicentre in which to work, play and live.
The Victoria Press building, as it will now be called, 2621 Douglas St. will still be home to anchor tenant, the Times Colonist newspaper, who sold the building in 2017 to Merchant House Capital, a developer known for their renovations of the Dominion Rocket and Bayview Place and the Roundhouse.
|The new vision for the Victoria Press Building includes rezoning to allow for a distillery/brewery to be built on the site formerly known as the Times Colonist Building. Merchant House Capital photo|
The new vision promises to be a “cultural and commercial hub of media, arts, entertainment, technology and education,” according to the building’s new website.
A new entrance from Kings Road will lead into the “print reel room,” a 9,000 sq. ft. space with 50-foot ceilings, and access to the one-acre rooftop common area where views will stretch to the Inner Harbour.
A 14,000 sq. ft. loft space called “the boneyard” will provide office, manufacturing and event space and 4,000 sq. ft. of street-front retail space will take full advantage of the 20,000 cars that drive by the Douglas Street location daily.
A modern tower slated for urban living spaces is currently under zoning application.
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In a column published Jan. 24, Dave Obee, editor-in-chief of the Times Colonist, explained that as newer, more efficient technology has changed the way journalism is produced, the paper no longer has the need for the space it once did.
He also addressed the rumours that the renovation of the building meant closing the paper altogether.
“The claim that the Times Colonist is closing within 12 months has no basis in fact,” he wrote. “The way that it is being presented as a cold, hard fact is discouraging. But welcome to the new age, when anyone with a Facebook account can say anything they want, and find an eager audience.”