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Foreign-Owned Businesses Key to Our Economy

Apr 24, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – 4,000 people in Greater Victoria are directly employed by foreign-owned companies. A recent study conducted by the Greater Victoria Development Agency (GVDA) and supported by Invest Canada -  Community Initiatives (ICCI), interviewed 36 companies - 18 of which were started here in Victoria but are now foreign-owned - in order to best determine how to support and grow these opportunities.

“We create great companies in Victoria that are recognized globally and many are acquired by foreign owners. We commissioned this study to find ways to both retain these businesses and hopefully grow their footprint in Victoria. This study provides some excellent input into that process,” says Dan Dagg, Chair of the GVDA.

“These companies not only represent 8% of our GDP but are ambassadors for doing business in Victoria. We need to ensure that the management of these companies is aware of the advantages of doing business in Victoria,” offered Dallas Gislason, GVDA Economic Development Officer. “The work ahead is substantial but essential to implement the recommendations and work to improve our economic performance”

Key points:
·         36 companies were identified:
·         18 “homegrown” companies who, with the exception of shipbuilding, are mostly export-oriented, including ecommerce; and,
·         18 “Inbound” companies who mainly serve the Information and Communications Technology needs of the Provincial government and agencies or the Canadian Navy.
·         The companies employ 4,231 employees
·         Direct economic impact $846.2 million
·         Indirect economic impact $211.5 million

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Working in a ‘United Way’ Greater Victoria Community Helps Change Lives of Nearly 80,000 Individuals

Apr 23, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – Amazing things happen when people come together to support a network of social services in their community. Nearly 80,000 individuals were positively impacted thanks to the generosity of 8,000 donors, according to United Way's 2014 outcomes report. Over 90 non-profit services were available to help people in need because of the 500 worksites that ran United Way campaigns.

It takes everyone working together to address social issues facing the Greater Victoria community and United Way is proud to be a catalyst for change alongside other strong leaders. United Way recently celebrated the best of the best when it comes to philanthropic leadership at their annual Spirit Awards. The top honour - the Chair's Award of Distinction - was presented to Malcolm Barker, General Manager and Vice President of Seaspan Victoria Shipyards.

Some other Spirit Awards recipients included: National Research Council Canada (Naden Band Spirit of Excellence), RBC Royal Bank (Financial Challenge Cup), University of Victoria (Post Secondary Challenge), Victoria Shipyards (Outstanding Workplace Campaign) and HP Advanced Solutions and BCGEU 1201 (Labour Partnership).

"It is because of these individual and workplace champions that United Way raised $5.7 million and that we are able to support a network of programs and services that assisted nearly 80,000 people in our community," says Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way. "People in crisis often require more than one service to get the assistance they need to improve their lives. At United Way we work hard to ensure a continuum of services is available at all times for individuals, families, children and youth."

An example of this United Way funded network in action is the support provided to a young woman who is having difficulty completing her high school education, possibly due to family distress, an unplanned pregnancy or conflict with the law. When seeking services, whether on her own or with counsellors or parents, she may find her education supported by Artemis Place Society which provides individual academic and life skills readiness. She may be facing other challenges such as housing (Boys & Girls Club), support to access financial assistance (Together Against Poverty Society), health issues (Island Sexual Health and Victoria Youth Clinic), and peer support programs (Youth Empowerment Society).

"This network of support wraps our student in a proverbial blanket, providing her with the warmth of our caring community as she navigates life's challenges and begins to flourish. United Way plays an important role in keeping this network strong and stable. They are an essential component of our success," says Rachel Calder, Executive Director Artemis Place Society.

For more information about United Way's Spirit Award recipients or 2014 Outcomes Report, please visit uwgv.ca.

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Chard Development Breaks Ground on Escher, 84 Condos on Broughton Street

Apr 23, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – Escher, an 84-suite condo project by Chard Development has begun construction at 838 Broughton Street. A ground-breaking event was held today with Chard Development, the City of Victoria, Escher condo buyers and downtown Victoria businesses and stakeholders to celebrate the start of construction on the developer's latest project.

"Downtown Victoria has a bright future thanks, in large part, to Dave Chard and Chard Development for consistently delivering high-quality, forward-looking developments," said Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria. "I thank Mr. Chard for his continual investment in Victoria and I look forward to putting yet another shovel in the ground with him today."

Escher is located on the border of downtown Victoria and the residential Fairfield neighbourhood in the 800 block of Broughton Street – just slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of the city's main streets. But the development is just steps away from the Royal Theatre, the YM-YWCA of Greater Victoria and the latest downtown restaurant hub that has seen popular new eateries thriving on Broughton, Blanshard and Fort Streets.

Escher's suites and amenities have been designed to reflect the diversity of downtown homebuyers who appreciate stylish spaces and having a wide variety of suite types and customization options to choose from.

"We're extremely proud of the design and features of this new project and very happy with the response it's getting from condo buyers," said David Chard, president, Chard Development. "However, my team and I are most excited about the longer-term impact that these new residents and the thriving small businesses we see popping up are having on the vibrancy of downtown. There is a definite energy to downtown right now."

Chard mentioned projects like Fort Common by Fort Properties, which is taking an underused urban space just down the street from Escher and creating a gathering space and urban garden as an example of a unique development he is pleased to see. Suzanne Bradbury of Fort Properties attended the groundbreaking event and commented that, "We believe Downtown Victoria is poised at the threshold of a rebirth, and sensitive developments like Escher will contribute to making this emerging neighbourhood truly great. Together, Escher's future residents and our local business people will help shape the culture of Victoria to create a vibrant, urban experience for everyone to enjoy."

Escher is being built by Campbell Construction, a contractor that has constructed many of Victoria's major buildings, and is planned to be completed by early 2017.

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DVBA to close Douglas Street on June 21 for Car Free Day

Apr 23, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – The Downtown Victoria Business Association is launching Victoria's first Car Free Day on Douglas Street on June 21, 2015, with registrations for vendors and exhibitors now open.

"We are excited to bring Car Free Day to Victoria. Closing six blocks of Victoria's main street for a celebration of our community is a strong statement and we hope, a catalyst for longer-term enhancement for Douglas Street," says Fran Hobbis, Board Chair for the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

Car Free Day will be spread out over six blocks of Douglas Street from Herald to Fort Streets from 12 to 6 p.m. Three stages will support the street festival setting with music, entertainment, and talent throughout the event. The street will be lined with retail and business vendors, artisans and makers, food vendors and food trucks and more. The Victoria Public Market will anchor Car Free Day on the street between Herald St. and Fisgard St. at the north end and The Bay Centre will anchor the event between View St. and Fort St. at the south end.

"There is no other event where the public can stroll on Douglas Street. Car Free Day offers the chance for people to reclaim our busiest street," says Ken Kelly, General Manager of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. "We intend this day to be Victoria's care-free, car-free day.”

Modeled after Vancouver's Car Free Day, an event which each year attracts tens of thousands of people, Victoria's event is a chance to further celebrate Victoria as Canada's most walkable city with the highest numbers of commuting cyclists in Canada.
Deadline for registration is May 11. Visit http://carfreeyyj.ca to register.

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Citizens Invited to Provide Input on Future of Burnside Gorge Neighbourhood

Apr 23, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – Over the next six weeks, citizens are invited to share their thoughts on the future of Burnside Gorge neighbourhood. Input will help shape a new local area plan to guide residential and commercial development and future capital projects in the area such as cycling and pedestrian improvements and park space.

"This is an exciting opportunity for residents and business owners to get involved and provide input as we work together to create a vision for the Burnside Gorge area," said Mayor Lisa Helps. "We know our residents and business owners have creative and innovative ideas; we need these to help shape the future of this vibrant neighbourhood."

Opportunities for community input include an online survey that runs until Sunday, May 31, walking tours in Burnside throughout May, and events including:

· A drop-in event on Thursday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Second Crack Coffee Lab (2612 Bridge Street)
· Community conversations on Saturday, May 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Burnside Gorge Community Centre (471 Cecelia Road). Two sessions will run during the day; one from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and a second in the afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Each session will be followed by an optional one hour walking tour through the Burnside area.
· Community Conversations on Thursday, May 21 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Gabriel Ross (2500 Rock Bay Avenue)

The Burnside Gorge neighbourhood is home to 6,000 residents and is one of the largest neighbourhoods in Victoria. With 1,400 businesses providing work for more than 14,000 people, it is a key employment area for the Greater Victoria region. The diverse neighbourhood is comprised of regionally significant industrial and employment areas alongside established residential areas crossed by several key transportation corridors including the Douglas Street Corridor and the Lochside Trail.

Victoria is expected to grow by 20,000 residents over the next 30 years. Victoria's Official Community Plan identifies that 10,000 new residents will be accommodated in the downtown core area with the remaining focused in village centres across the city, including village centres in the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood.

Village centres are places that include a mix of residential, shopping, and community services within a small geographic area, allowing people to meet their daily needs without the use of a car. In Burnside Gorge, village centres are envisioned to develop along Douglas Street in the areas identified as Humber Green Village and Mayfair Town Centre. The area known as Selkirk Village is also envisioned to establish as a village centre.

Feedback collected will inform a new draft local area plan that will be considered by Council next year. A new local area plan for the neighbourhood will advance objectives of the City's Official Community Plan and provide guidance for future projects in the area.

The new plan for the Burnside Gorge area is the first local area plan to be created since the Downtown Core Area Plan was approved in 2011 and is the largest local area plan to be undertaken by the City.  Subject to final approval April 30, City Council will be adding $200,000 to expedite local area plans across the city over the next four years.

For more information, visit www.victoria.ca/burnside.

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Harbour Authority Signs Deal with Wilson's Transportation to Run Ogden Point Cruise Shuttle Service

Apr 21, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has signed a two-year agreement with Wilson's Transportation Ltd. to operate a safe, clean, efficient and effective Ogden Point cruise shuttle service for the 2015 and 2016 cruise seasons. Under the terms, Wilson's will use leased BC Transit buses and work with GVHA to develop a program to engage members of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations in hiring, training and career development.

"We are pleased to secure a partnership with Wilson's Transportation to operate and manage the cruise bus shuttle service at Ogden Point," said GVHA's Interim CEO Rick Crosby. "As a local, family-run company with a long track record of success and a deep commitment to our community, Wilson's is a strong partner to manage this critical service moving cruise ship passengers to downtown."

The agreement calls for Wilson's to meet or exceed the expectations outlined in GVHA's Cruise Tourism Passenger Bus Shuttle Service 2015 Minimum Expectations document, including: all core service bus equipment requires wheelchair accessibility, and core service bus equipment requires a minimum of three double decker buses with engine age newer or equal to 2008; a minimum of two low floor buses with engine age newer or equal to 2009; and remaining non-core service bus equipment with engine age newer or equal to 2005. The minimum expectations guidelines also cover appropriate behaviour standards and passenger safety as well as ensuring that for buses waiting at Ogden Point, engine idling is not permitted.

"The cruise ship shuttle provides a valuable link between Ogden Point and the downtown Victoria business district," said John Wilson, CEO of Wilson's Transportation. "With 20-minute service on an increasingly busy cruise ship schedule, working collaboratively with the local communities to ensure adequate routing and communication is key to overall success."

During the upcoming 2015 cruise season, BC's Passenger Transportation Board will allow standees on BC Transit buses used for the shuttle service for the first time. This means that the number of buses required for cruise passengers will be either reduced or maintained during the season and passenger queues likely reduced, resulting in a more efficient service.

All Wilson's drivers are unionized and trained for safety, customer service and operating procedures (including idling time rules). The company regularly screens and monitors drivers’ safety and compliance records. Driver training will also be provided by BC Transit.

The two-year deal with Wilson's covers the 2015 and 2016 cruise seasons and is renewable for up to three additional cruise seasons up until the end of the 2019 season at Ogden Point.

Victoria's Ogden Point is Canada's most popular cruise ship port of call with 229 ship visits and over 513,000 passengers expected in 2015. Passengers currently transported from the Ogden Point terminal to downtown Victoria and other locations in Greater Victoria use a variety of transportation options including: the shuttle bus service, shore excursion services, pedi-cabs, taxis, limousines, and horse‐drawn carriages. Each year, approximately 100,000 passengers use the shuttle service to downtown Victoria and in 2014, more than 90,000 people chose to walk to downtown.

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The Nest Cafe Offers Rest Stop for Venturers on the Galloping Goose Trail

Apr 21, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – The only rest stop along the Galloping Goose Trail between Victoria and Langford has recently opened. The Nest Cafe, located at the intersection of Burnside Road, Watkiss Way and the Galloping Goose Trail, is the long-awaited coffee shop for users of the Goose and local residents in the communities near the Victoria General Hospital.

Owned by Martin Schenk of Eagle Pacific Developments, The Nest Cafe will be operated by Schenk's daughters, Katie Tilden (general manager) and Jennifer Schenk, who bring experience from their years working for Starbucks and other restaurants.

Tilden says, "After considerable testing, The Nest Cafe has selected Marley brand as its coffee supplier. In addition to great coffee and specialty coffees, teas and juices, we also serve a delicious and nutritious selection of soups, sandwiches, paninis and desserts."

Schenk has equipped The Nest with many unique features, including bicycle racks, bike tune-up and repair facilities as well as landscaping that takes full advantage of the cafe's unique location. The Nest is also dog friendly and supplies fresh water and treats for pets. "I intentionally designed and built The Nest to cater to the needs of those who enjoy the beauty and tranquility that the Goose has to offer," said Schenk.

Martin Schenk is a longtime builder and developer in Greater Victoria. He constructed the first green-certified, multi-unit residential development, Vantage Townhomes, on the Island, located next door to The Nest.

Located at 2311 Watkiss Way, The Nest Cafe will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. until June, when The Nest Café will be open until 8 p.m. throughout the summer.

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Victoria Makes the Grade as One of Top 10 Cities

Apr 21, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – Greater Victoria has been recognized as one of the top 10 small cities from North and South America for both Human Capital and Lifestyle and Investment Strategies. The results of this year's analysis of the top cities has been announced by London's Financial Times in their bi-annual fDi American Cities of the Future publication.

Top 10 placement for Investment Strategies was awarded for the pro-active three-year trade and investment program undertaken by the Greater Victoria Development Agency (GVDA) and its partners that has resulted in among other things over $10 million in new investment in Victoria with two more years to go. "We have worked hard to benefit the economy of Greater Victoria and it is great to see our efforts recognized by such a globally respected leader (The Financial Times)," said Dallas Gislason, economic development officer for the GVDA.

The top 10 placement for Human Capital and Lifestyle provides international exposure for the desirability of the region. "We're in the process of reinventing Victoria as a leading edge city that embraces the future and builds on the past,' says Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria. "Jam-packed with innovation, creativity and entrepreneurs Victoria's human capital has the potential to make a significant contribution in the knowledge-based 21st century economy."

Companies follow talent and the GVDA is actively working with partners to court entrepreneurs and individuals with key skill sets who possess the business acumen to work anywhere and demand a positive work/life environment such as the one Victoria offers. "We know we have a great place to live and a very strong and well-educated workforce. It is great to see that view is shared globally," said Dan Dagg, chair of the GVDA. "We will be able to use this award to further our attraction of skilled labour and continue to grow our economy."

The recognition of our strength as one of the top cities in the Americas marks a successful end of the first year of a 3-year $1.6-million economic growth program. The GVDA works to sustain and create new household sustaining jobs in Greater Victoria. The agency provides information to hundreds of investors annually, works to retain existing business and help businesses grow.

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Ralmax Group of Companies to Acquire Chew Excavating Ltd.

Apr 21, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – Two long-standing, local businesses, Chew Excavating Ltd. and the Ralmax Group of Companies (Ralmax) signed a purchase agreement that lays the groundwork for the Chew family to transfer ownership of Chew Excavating to the Ralmax Group. Both parties are working towards a May 1st 2015 closing date for this agreement.

"The purchase of Chew Excavating Ltd. is an excellent opportunity for us at Ralmax and it’s a very good fit with our other businesses and with our business culture," explained Ian Maxwell, President and CEO of the Ralmax Group of Companies. "Equally important to me, however, is to carry forward the legacy of the founder, John Chew. I have deep respect for the jobs and opportunities that John created through the businesses he built, and Chew Excavating's staff of roughly 60 full and part time employees are an important part of the quality work done by the company. Working with the Chew family, I can also see that John’s legacy of integrity and professionalism has been passed down to the next generation as well."

John Chew founded the family business in 1955. From a single small backhoe purchased to use initially on the family farm in Saanich, Chew Excavating is now one of the largest excavating and civil construction companies on Vancouver Island.

Over the years, John Chew diversified and expanded his business interests to include a number of successful enterprises. John Chew passed away in 2012, and recently the family has been divesting itself of non-core businesses within the Chew Group of Companies, now including the excavating business.

"Dad was very proud of Chew Excavating – the employees were like his family and our customers were all his friends," explained Chris Chew, one of John and Shirley Chew's four children who are the company’s shareholders and directors. "This decision to sell comes at a time when this business needs to evolve with some of the senior management team retiring or close to retirement. We have been quietly looking for an opportunity to place the company in the best possible position for this next evolution and we feel that Ralmax fits this in a number of important ways. Ralmax has a solid reputation for quality service and fair business agreements and the culture and the management approach is very similar to how Dad ran his businesses. We think Dad would approve."



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Law Enforcement Members Relaunch Roof Sit for Special Olympics

Apr 21, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – From May 1 to 3, Victoria law enforcement personnel will head to the rooftops for Free the Fuzz, a Law Enforcement Torch Run event in support of Special Olympics BC to be held at the Uptown shopping centre in Saanich.

For three days, three law enforcement officers will camp out on scaffolding while members of Central Saanich Police Services, the Saanich Police Department, Oak Bay Police Department, and Victoria Police Department collect donations from the community to "free the fuzz" and raise funds for Special Olympics.

The LETR is a global movement that raises vital funds and awareness for Special Olympics. Since 1990, the BC LETR have been dedicated supporters of SOBC with LETR members around the province leading a variety of fundraising events throughout the year, raising more than $3 million to date.

Free the Fuzz will kick off on Friday, May 1, with Special Olympics athletes and law enforcement members marching together into the shopping centre at 5 p.m.

The fundraiser will also include a dunk tank, face painting for kids, hotdog sales, and coffee by donation, as well as K9 demonstrations.

"We are thrilled to bring Free the Fuzz back to Victoria. Special Olympics gives individuals with intellectual disabilities the chance to be part of a team, and it builds self-confidence," says event organizer Cst. Lisa Bruschetta of the Saanich PD. "Our local athletes are very excited to join in the events we have prepared for the weekend. Our goal is to engage with the community and show our support for our amazing athletes."

Law enforcement agencies last held a Free the Fuzz in Victoria ten years ago.

Victoria law enforcement members provide year-round support to Special Olympics BC through the LETR. Over the last four years members of the Victoria PD have made generous donations to support SOBC athletes through their overtime hours. As well, the Victoria PD and the Saanich PD face off annually in the Battle of the Badges hockey fundraiser for SOBC.

The annual Victoria Law Enforcement Torch Run will take place during B.C.’s Torch Run Month on June 13. Law enforcement personnel and SOBC athletes will come together to walk or run for five kilometers along the Galloping Goose Trail to raise funds and awareness for SOBC.

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Meet the Mayor's Task Force on Economic Development and Prosperity

Apr 21, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – The City of Victoria has identified "Creating Prosperity Through Economic Development" as a key objective in its new strategic plan for focus and investment over the next four years. Moving quickly, City Council has created the Mayor's Task Force on Economic Development and Prosperity, comprised of community leaders in tech, tourism, labour, green business, commercial real estate, and community and regional economic development.

"I'm thrilled to announce this Economic Development and Prosperity Task Force and to working with the members, rolling up our sleeves and delivering concrete recommendations to City Council as to how City Hall can best support small business, fill downtown vacancies and support young entrepreneurs and social enterprises," noted Mayor Lisa Helps.

The role of the task force is to consult with community stakeholders to develop recommendations to City Council on how the City can best use its available resources and act as a partner to fill downtown retail and commercial vacancies; support start-ups, "scale-ups" and business relocations to Victoria; foster entrepreneurship; support job creation in particular for college and university grads who want to remain in Victoria; and to support social enterprises and community economic development initiatives. One outcome of the City’s strategic plan is to establish an economic development office or office of small business services by the end of the year.

"The economic health of our region is imperative and I commend the Mayor for moving this forward," added task force member and General Manager of the Bay Centre, Darlene Hollstein. "The entire region benefits by all sectors and communities focusing on economic development and I am thrilled to be assisting with this catalyst for change through the economic development and prosperity task force."

The task force is chaired by Mayor Lisa Helps, and includes Councillor Margaret Lucas and local idea makers and business visionaries from Synergy, the Greater Victoria Development Agency, The Bay Centre, Tourism Victoria and many more.

Members of the Mayor's Task Force on Economic Development and Prosperity were appointed by City Council and will deliver recommendations to City Council by the end of June.

"This task force will provide the City of Victoria with perspectives from both established and emerging new industries," said Jill Doucette, Owner/Founder of Synergy. "It is an opportunity for us to lay stepping stones towards a stronger economic future. I am hopeful for the outcomes and I commend mayor Lisa Helps and Council for striking a task force to gain momentum on this front."

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Tourism Victoria to Lead High Level Victoria Tourism Delegation to Seattle

Apr 16, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – With support from the City of Victoria and key tourism industry stakeholders, Tourism Victoria is pleased to lead a high level Victoria tourism delegation to Seattle. The Pacific Northwest Economic Region is an economic, social and cultural power. As Seattle is a strong partner and customer of Victoria's, Tourism Victoria has built a tourism delegation to meet with executives of the cruise industry, Visit Seattle, the Pacific Northwest Economic Region and the Consulate General in Seattle in order to send a signal of support and discuss areas of future collaboration.

The objective of this visit is to deepen tourism business and policy ties between these two important Pacific Northwest tourism forces, advance files of mutual interest and discuss future collaboration opportunities.

The delegation will be available for photo opportunities and interviews prior to their departure in the morning on Friday, April 17, 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., at Kenmore Air Terminal (1000 Wharf Street).

Delegation Members available for an interview include:

• Mayor Lisa Helps and Councillor Margaret Lucas (City of Victoria)

• President & CEO Paul Nursey (Tourism Victoria)

• President & CEO Geoff Dickson (Victoria Airport Authority)

• Chief Operating Officer Sonterra Ross (Greater Victoria Harbour Authority)

• Star McMichael, Chair (Tourism Victoria Transportation Committee)

Other delegation members attending but with separate travel arrangements are Dave Cowen, Chair (Tourism Victoria Board of Directors) and Manager Tessa Humphires (Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Tourism Victoria).

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McCormick Meadows’ Robust Pre-Sales Underscores Victoria's Hot Housing Market

Apr 16, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA – Victoria doesn't draw nearly the same attention of Vancouver, but if pre-sales of McCormick Meadows are any measure, Victoria's housing market is on fire.

Located on the border of Victoria's Westshore communities of Langford and Metchosin, McCormick Meadows is a new residential neighbourhood that has pre-sold over 30% of its homes in just one month. It outpaces the sizzling 28% growth seen across Greater Victoria, a housing market that continues to rebound after a five-year lull.

"We're thrilled by the response we’ve had from buyers," says Rohan Rupf, marketing director at Keycorp, the company responsible for developing and marketing the project. "People are buying houses off plan, without even setting foot in a show home."

That's significant for Victoria, where buyers have tended to be drawn to spec homes. A substantial advantage of buying off plan is the opportunity to customize their new homes, which according to Rupf is a major reason why people are committing early. And now the public will get its first look at this new community when McCormick Meadows hosts a Grand Opening party and tour this Saturday and Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to tours of two fully-furnished show homes with professionally designed interiors, visitors will be able to partake in free lunch, prize giveaways, and family hay rides through phase one of the neighbourhood.

McCormick Meadows' first phase features 30 wide lot homes consisting of thirteen different floor plans that range from 1,300-square-foot ranchers to roomy, multi-storey homes of more than 2,500 square feet. Starting at $459,900, homes feature on-demand hot water, gas fireplaces, gas BBQ outlets, and ductless heat pumps, amongst many other modern features. Inside, elegant, open-concept interiors include designer-selected classic and contemporary colour schemes.

To find McCormick Meadows, travel south on Veteran's Memorial parkway, turning right on Sooke Road. Continue along about 5 km, turning left on Happy Valley Road – just two minutes along Happy Valley Road, turn left on Braeburn Avenue.

For more information, visit www.McCormickMeadows.com.

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