Sooke residents give thumbs up to development

Sooke residents give thumbs up to development

Development story spurs positive remarks from Sooke Mirror News readers

Build it and they will come.

It’s a cliche, but many in Sooke are encouraged about several new developments in the town centre. And you told us about it online and in print.

Last week, the Sooke News Mirror published a story about major developments coming online, including a library, cohousing, affordable housing and brewery.

Mayor Maja Tait said the developments is a sign of the community’s growth.

Sooke resident Alison Foster said: ‘I’m all for growth. I just hope the infrastructure grows at the same speed. It seems like only the housing is succeeding so the amenities need to cope with that as well.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Simone Hudson. “I think it’s probably a good thing because it attracts people here like us, who moved from Calgary.”

Yves Vanier said growth is inevitable. “I just wish there was a proper plan on how Sooke intends to grow in the future. It just seems like developments are going up everywhere without much thought behind it,” he said.

In case you missed it, here’s a recap of the four developments:

• Construction of the new Sooke branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library is expected to start later this year. The project is currently going through its design phase and public input process. The 10,000-square-foot library is expected to open by the fall of 2018 on district-owned property at Wadams Way and Townsend Road, also known as Lot A. The current library lease will expire at the end of the year, with no option of renewal, which puts some immediacy to getting the new facility built.

• Fifteen people are committed to buying one of the 32 units in the proposed Western Harbour Cohousing development. Cohousing is a non-traditional and communal way of living, as people share common areas such as cooking spaces. The original plan for the development began in April 2016. Cohousing Development Consulting is hoping to start construction in 2018 and finish sometime in 2020.

The Knox Centre on Church Road is very close to beginning construction. The project will house a 42-unit affordable housing complex. The four-storey building will be made 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.

• A group of five investors, including three from Sooke, is dreaming of beer suds and hops as it works toward establishing a craft brewery in the town centre. Local business owner Carl Scott is leading the group that is building a 3,500-square-foot building at 2057 Otter Point Rd. Sooke Brewing Company is expected to open this fall. The brewery will feature a tasting room and produce 1,500 litres of beer per brew.