I believe that Saanich should look at allowing a dramatic increase in the density along Tillicum Road from Gorge to Hwy #1.
If one looks at the Tillicum mall area one can see that this location has a lot of the amenities the public needs located in one area. This area lends itself a walking lifestyle without a lot of difficulty. We have the Pearkes Rec Centre there, Silver City, Cuthbert Holmes Park, several mid range restaurants, a Starbucks, a Safeway, dentist and doctors' clinics and now a library. The location is also well suited for access to schools with Tillicum Elementary and Colquitz Middle School within a short walk of the site.
The frontage of the Tillicum mall on Tillicum road is a large empty park lot. There is ample space to build condos on this space and have underground parking. Something like Tuscany village, only larger. One could construct two levels of underground parking - with a link into the lower level of the mall. Frankly I believe one could expand the lower level of the mall.
On the surface one could expand the street level shopping as part of the condo development.
A four to five story development would offer 200 000 sq feet of retail and 450 000 sq feet of living space. That is 300 living units on that location - roughly another 450 people living in the area. On the rear side of the site one could construct something of a similar scale. Adding close to 1000 people to the area on this site is realistic.
Also realistic would be the construction of a 10 story tall office tower at some location on the site. 300 000 sq feet of space is realistic and would place a larger daytime demand on the location.
I would construct a pool on the site as well - make it part of the development permit requirement and have one more reason to reduce the need of the public to travel.
The location is well situated for transit to most locations in Greater Victoria and should mean that the increased population would mean a lower increase in cars on the road. You can get to Downtown, UVic/Gordon Head, Camosun, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, and Hillside without having to change buses.
The location is also a very good one for access out of via car - Hwy #1 is right at hand and Hwy #17 is not far away. You can be in most locations in Greater Victoria rather quickly.
There are more areas in the neighbourhood that could be redeveloped for more businesses, retail and residential. The wedge of land between Hwy #1, Burnside and Tillicum is rife for redevelopment. The northern chunk is a very badly built and maintained condo development. Frankly the whole development needs to be pulled down. I would suggest that all the owners be offered units in a new development in return for selling the site. Saanich should allow a much higher density on the location.
The whole wedge is about 12 acres in size - large enough to allow for a lot of commercial, retail and residential construction. With enough density allowed, the location could house 2000 people and offer 600 000 sq feet of both retail and commercial space.
I would construct a large pedestrian overpass across to Tillicum Mall - 20 to 30 feet across and plants and landscaping.
Finally, the area could use some sort of late night locations - a good bar or nightclub would be beneficial.