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Excellence Awards


Oak Bay Beach Hotel


The original Oak Bay Beach Hotel (OBBH) was built in 1927. The old building was deconstructed in 2007 due to universal accessibility issues and the impracticality of seismic upgrades. The new 142,550 sq. ft. OBBH is Victoria’s first full-service luxury hotel with private residences. It includes 100 guest rooms, and 20 private residences in an eight storey concrete structure, with three levels of underground parking for 184 cars, 22,000 sq. ft. of public commercial space and administrative offices and a Spa in two buildings. Several features of the old building were identified as “Legacy” elements, and were faithfully re-created in the new OBBH under covenant, including: The Snug pub, the Grand Lobby and the original hotel entrance porch and door. The new stone, brick and stucco-finished hotel acknowledges its “tudor” roots in a contemporary style.

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The Coho development consists of 98 market condominiums with approximately 96,000 sq.ft. in gross building area. The condos are located in two, four storey, wood-framed buildings located at the top of a hill on the corner of Wilfert Road and Old Island Highway in View Royal. The development is constructed on a rocky knoll with valley views to the north and west and water and city views to the east and south. Residents love this development because of its aesthetically pleasing design, secluded location and functional floorplans and finishes. The Council of the Town of View Royal is pleased with the amount of community amenity space contributed by the developer. Throughout the development process, several sustainable design elements were included such as use of low VOC materials, a robust on site construction recycling program, water efficient plumbing fixtures, high efficiency lighting tied to occupancy and daylight sensors for energy savings.

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FortisBC Victoria Area Regional Operations Centre (VAROC)


This new development houses the FortisBC regional operations centre and fleet vehicles and is a replacement facility for their previous leased building. Since the majority of their staff lived in the vicinity of Langford, the owner decided to build their new facility 14 km east of the previous location to help shorten staff commutes. The main uses of the building and site are as an office space for staff to receive and report their work, which is performed in the surrounding community, a warehouse to fix and maintain company fleet vehicles, and a secure yard to store the fleet. The total site area is 56,371 sq. ft. in a neighbourhood of light industrial and retail buildings. Continue reading

The Paragon Building


This brand new Class A, three storey mixed-use building, is targeted for LEED Gold certification. The concept in its design, was to shift the centre from a suburban strip mall into a small scale urban plaza and to set the stage as a landmark building in the Shelbourne Corridor, as a standard for future development in the area. The building brings retail storefront to the street with quality commercial space above, while sidewalk improvements along Cedar Hill Cross Road enhance the pedestrian experience and are visually appealing for passersby. Building features include a high speed elevator, floor to ceiling and functional windows, seismic construction, showers, secure bike storage and a green roof. This project required site remediation for the replacement of the former dry-cleaning facility.

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CFB Esquimalt Base Fire Hall & Emergency Response Centre


This $27.3 million project was designed and constructed as a dual purpose facility for two critical operational groups – the Base Fire Department and Emergency Response Centre. The Emergency Response Centre is responsible for responding to environmental and civil emergencies in a post-disaster scenario and the Fire Hall provides firefighting services for both CFB Esquimalt and the immediate surrounding communities.

It has a total area of 38,804 sq. ft. and is designed to remain fully functional following a major earthquake for a minimum of one week. The facility is segmented by a gallery, which establishes a distinctness and identity for each of the two functions, while also functioning as a control point for visitors.

The 1st floor contains five truck bays, workshops, an administrative area and offices for fire officials and support staff. The Emergency Response Centre on the 2nd floor is designed as a coordination and operations centre that will respond and coordinate with other Government agencies in the event of a natural disaster. Dorms for 20 firefighters, a fully equipped kitchen and dining room, a lounge area, gym and lecture room are located on the 3rd floor. The project was designed selectively incorporating certain aspects of the LEED Silver guidelines for construction waste management, including construction indoor air quality and water use efficiency, low VOC carpet and CFC, HCFC and Halon free HVAC equipment.

Bin4 Burger Lounge


This location holds a lot of history within the Langford community. Initially home of Langford’s first fire hall built in the mid 1900’s, in 1978 when Langford’s second fire hall was built, the location was converted into a bank. When Bin 4 Burger Lounge took over the space in 2012 to begin construction, it was necessary to work with some of the existing bank features such as the 12 x 7 ft. vault. Instead of blasting out the vault, it was converted into a walk in cooler and the kitchen design was worked around it. The two levels building includes three units altogether, the top level consists of two office units and the entire 2,650 sq.ft. lower level is occupied by the restaurant. Green initiatives included the installation of low flow toilets, a low temperature dishwasher unit, the adoption of a recycling program and a 100% paper free payroll system. 95% percent of the restaurant’s products are made in-house, reducing packaging waste and transportation emissions. Bin 4 supports local suppliers who share the same quality and business ethics upheld by the restaurant.

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Uptown Shopping Centre


Uptown Shopping Centre is an 875,000 sq. ft. world-class, mixed-use, sustainable urban development, situated on an 18 acre brown field site. It’s a high-density development that sets a new standard for environmental responsibility and sustainability for a project of its size. The tenant mix includes retail, restaurants, daycare, class A office, spas, and medical facilities. Uptown’s strategic location makes it a natural hub for the Capital Regional District including extensive bus service, bus links, as well as interurban pedestrian and bicycle pathways. Continue reading

Langford Centre


This 127,000 sq.ft. retail space was in dire need of an upgrade. Exterior renovations gave the façade a new look that is now more in keeping with the rest of the improvements that have been happening in Langford. The use of glass and steel canopies keep the sidewalks bright, and a mix of brick and HardiePanel® siding bring the rest of the building up to date with a fresh look. New signage for each of the tenants also draws more attention to this strip mall that has been around for years. Continue reading

Tyndall Village


This project features an unusual combination of uses in a low rise, low density suburban community with commercial below residential, making the neighbourhood more walkable and attractive. The building form is unique in that each of the four townhouses is expressed as distinct from their neighbour and each unit is made up of a series of volumes that are articulated by plane and material. Green initiatives include the use of a geo-thermal heating/cooling system. Located across from a community soccer field and in a prime location for many university students, Township Coffee Co. currently occupies one of the commercial spaces in this new building, providing a community amenity that was not previously present. Continue reading

Thrifty Foods Retail Support Centre


The distribution centre is a 152,000 sq. ft. facility which services all Thrifty Foods locations as well as over 45 Independents. The facility contains chambers for dry, frozen and chilled products including a large chilled dock. Aesthetically pleasing, the warehouse was built to LEED principles and includes several environmentally green features. Located near Vancouver Island’s major transportation hubs, Thrifty Foods maintains their ability to source, store and distribute the best of what BC has to offer. Employee feedback for the project has been very positive with the inclusion of many windows providing natural lighting, a large viewing area with outdoor balcony in the lunchroom where employees can watch planes take off and land, proximity of the facility to biking trails and inclusion of an outdoor bike shelter.

Green initiatives include reduction of irrigation requirements through use of natural vegetation in the landscaping, variable-frequency drives to conserve energy based on demand, solar powered exterior lights, incorporation of natural light, bioswale and interceptor for treatment surface runoff water, waste heat recaptured to meet building’s needs, FSC approved millwork, use of low VOC’s.

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Victoria Real Estate Board

3035 Nanaimo Street, Victoria, BC, V8T 4W2
Tel: (250) 385-7766 Fax: (250) 385-8773

Historically speaking

The Commercial Building Awards were started in 1991 by a group of REALTORS® who were concerned that commercial development within the Greater Victoria area was not receiving the recognition it deserved.

The Commercial Building Awards competition is recognized among architects, builders and developers and the real estate community as a prestigious event dedicated to the advancement of excellence in construction and design. Because of its success, the Victoria Commercial Building Awards program is now being emulated by various real estate boards throughout BC and across Canada.

The Commercial Division of the Victoria Real Estate Board is dedicated to advancement in quality developments and to encouraging a better environment within our community and is proud to sponsor this annual competition.