VICTORIA -- A sweeping new redevelopment plan for the University Heights Shopping Centre in Saanich has been submitted to council for approval, which could bring hundreds of new homes and amenities to the area.

The redevelopment plan, proposed by development company Wesbild, includes four new six-storey buildings that would feature 612 residential units, commercial property spaces, a grocery store, a daycare and more.

The 612 rental units would be divided into 227 one-bedroom homes, 89 two-bedroom homes, 10 three-bedroom homes, 111 studio homes and 181 micro-homes. Of those units, 62 would be earmarked for affordable rentals, says Wesbild.

While most of the current property would be replaced by the new development, the area’s Home Depot and gas station would remain. In total, the redevelopment would consist of 196,821 square feet of commercial floor area.

Besides commercial spaces, Wesbild’s proposal includes a roughly 11,000 square foot daycare, a publicly accessible park and courtyard, a bus pullout and dedicated bike lanes.

Pedestrian use would also be a focus of the new complex, with a corridor that could be shut down to hold community events, like street festivals, farmers markets or other pop-up events.

university heights

More than 1,000 parking stalls are included in the proposal, 396 of which would be reserved for residents while 726 would be available for public use in parking lots and multi-level parkades. Twenty electric vehicle charging stations and an e-bike charging station would also be available.

If the proposal is approved by Saanich council, the plan could be presented to a public hearing as early as this fall, according to Wesbild.

If the proposal passes through its public hearing, it could be adopted in winter 2020 with construction beginning in 2021. The new complex would then open to the public in 2024.

The current University Heights property, located at the corner of Shelbourne and McKenzie, includes a shopping centre, a movie theatre and other retail stores.

Wesbild’s full proposal can be found online here