A large vacant parcel owned by Telus in downtown Nanaimo will be redeveloped into a rental housing complex.
The telecommunications giant has partnered with design, developer, and construction firm Omicron to develop 400 Fitzwilliam Street with a pair of six-storey buildings containing a combined total of 197 secured market rental homes.
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This 1.75-acre development site is immediately adjacent to Telus’ Central Office building, which brings the company’s land on the block to 2.75 acres.
It is anticipated Telus Living Nanaimo will provide housing for up to 500 people, providing a boost to local businesses and enhancing downtown’s vibrancy.
“Telus Living Nanaimo will offer a diverse and inclusive range of housing options including studio, one bedroom, one bedroom and den, and two- and three-bedroom homes to appeal to a cross section of the community from students, working professionals, empty nesters and small families,” reads a backgrounder.
“The project also includes units that are accessible and adaptable to accommodate people with disabilities and offers integrated technology features as well as extensive indoor/outdoor work and amenity spaces.”
Similar to Telus Garden in downtown Vancouver, the Nanaimo development will have high-tech telecommunications and home systems features integrated with the company’s products. This is a pet-friendly complex, and residents will also have access to a “bark park” outdoor amenity space.
The development will also offer public realm improvements, including the construction of new bike lanes, bus stops, and wide sidewalks with street trees. A minor commercial space component will help activate the public spaces.
Given Nanaimo’s size, this is considered a major development for the community, with a budget of $70 million, a contribution of $2 million in development fees to the municipal government, and the generation of about 700 construction jobs. Construction could begin this year, depending on final approvals.
Telus has also partnered with a developer to build an 11-storey office tower with 155,000 sq ft of space in downtown Victoria. The company is expected to occupy two floors for 250 local employees, while the remaining spaces will be open to lease to other firms.
In 2018, the company sold its Telus Garden complex, which entails office and residential towers.