Picturing children amidst all the current downtown Victoria construction might seem a strange proposition at the moment, but when the dust has settled on 722 Johnson this fall over a hundred youngsters may be attending daycare in the redeveloped building.
Ian Laing, who partnered with Tim Quocksister for the $2 million renovations, revealed the building’s proposed new purpose in the Times Colonist.
Formerly a government ministry building, the downtown location is set to offer 12,000 feet of office space as well as three storeys of corporate daycare facilities when it opens this fall.
Willowbrae Academy already have the childcare location listed on their website and are in the process of hiring a director.
The developer’s website describes the Johnson St location as “a steel-and-concrete building in the heart of Victoria’s downtown. Over the coming year, it will be tenanted, gutted and renovated from top to bottom, redefining the design and occupancy for 2017.”
“That building is surrounded by cranes right now, with 1515 Douglas coming up right now. And with the number of residential buildings around us, I think it will be pretty special for the city to have a corporate daycare there,” Laing told the Times Colonist. “The daycare seemed to be a nice fit — as you add more people to the core, you need the services like that.”
A Hefty Pricetag
Laing and Quocksister acquired the property for $5.085 million in August 2016. The renovations have cost a further $2 million, including over $600,000 in alterations to the exterior.
The occupants of the rest of the building have yet to be determined. However, a couple of tech firms have been in talks with the developers regarding the main and second floors.