Thursday, June 03, 2010

Shelbourne and Mckenzie - 3959 Shelbourne

Not that long ago I was suggesting the idea that there needed to be much higher degree of density in the area of Mckenzie and Shelbourne, especially with office space that connects to businesses developing from UVic.  There is a new small office building being developed at 3959 Shelbourne - this is across from the mall and next to the PetroCan.

I am happy to see more office space in this area, but the building is rather small, only 15,000 square feet of office space.  Given the location, building it six stories high would be entirely in keeping with the area now that Tuscany Village exists.  In fact going as far as eight stories would have been a bold statement for the future of the area.   At six floors, the building would have gained another 10,000 square feet of office space and at eight it would have gone up to a total of 35,000 square feet.

I understand that if the building had been bigger there would be a parking issue and likely the need to build a couple of levels of underground parking for the offices.

Do not get me wrong, I am happy to see the building go forward because it is a step up from the existing low quality 'medical dental' style offices on two of the other corners, but still it feels like a failure of imagination to me.   It feels like one a small step forward was taken and not the first stage of the fundamental shift needed in this neighbourhood for the health of the whole city.

I remain disappointed at the lack of interest from Saanich in a livable and sustainable community.  Even the simplest things, such as a decent as bike lanea and pedestrian friendly sidewalks along Mckenzie, seem to be beyond the thinking of Saanich.
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