Island Outfitters 2019
(Island Outfitters in October 2019/Google Streetview)

The former site of renowned outdoor goods store Island Outfitters is set to be redeveloped into a mixed-use residential and commercial block, according to the co-owners of the business.

In a statement, Island Outfitters founders Darren Wright and Ward Bond say that they will be collaborating with Victoria-based Aryze Developments to build a new development at 3319 Douglas Street.

On January 4, 2020 the property was the scene of a suspicious fire that gutted the Island Outfitters store, forcing the business to relocate to View Royal.

Saanich Police say that the fire is still under investigation but determined shortly after the blaze that it had been deliberately set.

Wright and Bond say that they have been working since the fire to find a new use for their former retail location.

“After a great deal of consideration, we arrived at the conclusion that providing some meaningful housing to a region that’s in dire need was the right thing to do with this property” explained Bond.

“We love the memories and community that were created by the store, but it’s time for us to move on and make room for the next iteration of this space,” said Wright. “We have always really respected the innovation and creativity that Aryze brings to each project and it just felt like the best fit.”

The partners say that Aryze will be devising plans for the new housing project in coming months. Pending municipal approvals, they say construction is slated for the fall of 2022.

Prior to the fire, Island Outfitters had operated at their location at 3319 Douglas Street since 1997.