By Mario Toneguzzi
The Market will include a landmark 53,000-square-foot Thrifty Foods grocery store.
Kevin Pritchard, director of development in Western Canada for Crombie REIT, said the retail project is well under construction with close to 130,000 square feet. Future phases will handle the rest of the retail square footage.
He said the Market will play a large role in continuing to establish Langford as a vibrant and growing community.
“We’re targeting to do a high level of community focused development there,” said Pritchard.
“We’re really trying to create a centre that’s full of amenities to complement the community,” he said, adding that the first tenants will start to open for business in early 2019.
There will also be a 12,500-square-foot office component that will house the Thrifty Foods headquarters.
The retail part of the project will also comprise streetfront spaces on four mixed-use buildings on the site which will anchor a main street.
“We’re looking to be fully leased up and construction complete by the end of 2020,” added Pritchard.
At this point, about 110,000 square feet of retail is committed. Of the 50,000 square feet remaining about 14,000 square feet is under active negotiation.
“We’ve got some pretty good velocity here and I think that’s a testament to the type of development that we’re trying to bring to Langford,” he said.
Ledcor Property Development is doing the residential portion of the more than 20-acre, master-planned community, called Belmont Residences, which will eventually include about 440 units with a mix of rental and for sale condos. The residential component will have six, four to six storey buildings and a some townhouses – 156 rental housing units and 284 market housing units.
The first residences to be occupied will be the fall of 2019.
“And the first buildings that will be completed will be rental,” said Pritchard.
He said full build out of the residences will be market dependent.
The Belmont Residences website said the project is targeting first-time home buyers, working professionals, and downsizers with one, two and two-plus flex bedroom configurations starting from the low $300,000s to the low $600,000s.
“Vancouver Island is feeling some of the effects of what’s going on in the Lower Mainland,” explained Pritchard. “So there’s a lot of desire to move to Victoria. From what we’ve seen in Langford, there’s a large portion of the population that’s younger. So with that we see Langford as being kind of the growth node. It’s really quite focused on growing and evolving as a municipality. The planning staff has been absolutely phenomenal to work with there.
“What we’re trying to do with the Belmont Market is really elevate the level of architecture here as well. We’re going with a rural contemporary theme. We’ve invested a significant amount of money in realizing the original vision on the site.”
The community will also be home to three plazas. One plaza will be heavily landscaped with benches and spread out and it will have a commemorative plaque of the history of the site. There will also be a centralized plaza that will bring together the high street with a podium where people can sit and meet in a nicely landscaped area with good attention to lighting. Retail tenants will be able to capitalize on patio space that will spill out into that space “creating a good heart to the site,” said Pritchard.
“And then we have one plaza that essentially anchors the high street and that will serve more as a general community park. So there will be a play structure there. Grass.
The other nice thing is the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. That trail system will actually connect into our site via that plaza. It’s really going to be a place where people can flow right in and enjoy the amenities in the community.”
The Belmont Market is being developed on the site of the former Belmont Secondary School which operated until 2015. The acquisition of the Belmont Market property helped to support the funding and construction of two new schools that replaced the aging institution – a new Belmont Secondary School and Royal Bay Secondary School.
Crombie is one of Canada’s leading real estate investment trusts with a $4.6 billion real estate portfolio and a large pipeline of potential development properties centred in Canada’s largest cities. It has 286 properties nationwide.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org