(University Heights)

The University Heights Shopping Centre in Saanich may be under new ownership, but it’s still full steam ahead for the planned redevelopment.

According to a Friday announcement, Wesbild Holdings has transferred ownership of the existing 1980s-era shopping centre to South Carolina-based real estate developer Greystar.

But the transfer isn’t expected to change the project details, scope, or timelines, with construction eyed to begin this spring.

Developers say the project proposes to re-develop the McKenzie Avenue and Shelbourne Street mall into a “mixed-use community” offering both market and affordable residential rental housing.

It also proposes new commercial space, up to 11,000 sq. ft of daycare space, cycling infrastructure, a public plaza and community spaces, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and a BC Transit hub.

SEE ALSO: Here’s what the proposed redevelopment of University Heights in Saanich could look like

According to developers, the $230 million redevelopment plan is scheduled to undergo fourth reading and bylaw adoption at the District of Saanich later this month.

“We have worked closely with the District of Saanich on the need for more residential rental homes. With their support and subject to project approval, over 590 rental apartments will be constructed, including 60 homes designated as affordable,” said Wesbild president Kevin Layden.

“We believe that Greystar will be an excellent developer of the site, and we will do everything we can to ensure a smooth handoff.”

Developers say the project will have a “significant positive economic impact” on the region, creating more than 300 construction jobs and 200 permanent positions.

The on-site Home Depot—which will be expanded following project approval—is expected to remain in operation throughout construction.

“We are thrilled to have this as our first major investment in Canada,” added John Wilbeck, the Vancouver-based managing director at Greystar.

“This isn’t just a project for us—it is the development of a true, thriving community.”

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