British Columbia

Victoria's Fort Street becoming more attractive to developers, realtor says

Fort Street has long been known for its many antique stores, but thanks to new condo developments and the presence of high-tech employment, that’s changing, commercial realtor says.

Vancouver developers planning 10-storey seniors' building on downtown section of the street

Fort and Blanshard in Victoria. A commercial retailer says condos and high-tech employment are bringing growth to the area. (Google Maps)

Victoria's Fort Street is in the midst of a property boom, according to a commercial realtor.

The street has long been known for its many antique stores, but thanks to new condo developments and the presence of high-tech employment that's changing, according to Anne Tanner with Cushman and Wakefield.

"VIATEC … bought their building right on Fort Street, Fort and Blanshard, and that really put Fort Street on the map for the tech sector," she told All Points West guest host David Lennam, adding the Bradbury family also helped revitalize the area by restoring heritage buildings in the area.

"It took someone with foresight there to revitalize their buildings," she said. "It's nice to see that a local family did that."

The latest evolution is Vancouver developers entering the market, scooping up properties between Quadra and Blanshard. Tanner says they have plans for a 10-storey seniors' building with ground-floor commercial, although that could change.

Tanner says there is an ongoing domino effect in the area, with new residences and employers — especially high-tech employers — entering the neighbourhood and bringing increasing demands for new businesses like coffee shops and cafes with them.

Previously, she says, businesses were leaving the area.

"The retailers are busier, there's more night traffic and it becomes more of a viable option for [businesses] to occupy some of these storefronts," she said.

"The tech sector likes to operate in the downtown core. The also like to live, work and play, 24/7 within blocks where they work."

Tanner expects further growth in Victoria's downtown in terms of condos and businesses over the next five years.

With files from CBC Radio One's All Points West


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