Cheryl Thomas, a Dockside Green Resident, introduced Norm and Ally to present to the club about the Dockside Green Project.
Norm Shearing, the CEO of the Dockside Green Project, started by thanking Rotary for the local and international projects we work on.  His past experiences took him to Freeport, Bahamas as he's directly seen the work of Rotary there following the recent hurricane.    Norm came to the Dockside Green project following the problems they hit in 2008 in the economic downturn.  Dockside Green is currently only 22% built with about 1,000,000 sq ft of mixed use, but mostly residential, left to develop.   Sustainability has been a keystone of the project with the Platinum LEED standard, however, sustainability has come a long way since 2005.  Originally the plans were very business focused and isolated.  The newer regulations really tie more to the rest of the community - socially and creating systems for the area not just the residents.   Dockside Green is the largest development project in Victoria.
Ally Dewji, the Director of Development of Dockside Green, picked up the presentation after Norm to go through in more detail where the project is headed.   The urban core of Victoria is looking forward to a 50% increase in population growth and Dockside Green is poised to be a major source of additional housing for the core of Victoria.  It is 15 acres of development that is centrally used and close to downtown. The surrounding area of Victoria West includes hotels, industrial, residential and commercial properties.  This part of the city is evolving rapidly.  As Norm stated, 22% (or 300 residential units) are currently built and occupied.  Other tenants currently include Farmer Construction, Fol Epi Bakery and some transitional spaces.  Utilities are also all included to reduce the environmental impact of the development.  The project was paused in 2009 following the economic downturn and has been working hard over the last few years to get going, but the project had to be revisited and updated with current challenges taken into consideration.
In 2014, the team conducted a year's worth of engagement with the community presenting the problems faced by the project and building a community centered response plan.   This updated plan was submitted to the City of Victoria in 2015.  The major changes included shifting the residential buildings into more buildings with less density per building.  They are now 80-120 units rather than 200+ units per building. However, the number of total units (approx 700) haven't been reduced just redesigned.   Other changes included an opening up of common green spaces and adding more park space that is easily accessible by the whole community adding a dog park and kids play park.  It is now inviting to those walking through the area rather than protected for only residents.  This is very much a triple bottom line project. An affordable housing area was added that will be run and managed by a non-profit in Vancouver.   The project is awaiting a public hearing in January 2017 for approval from the City of Victoria.

In the meantime, the space has been opened up for other temporary uses including Top Soil, an organic produce business organized by a UVic student that supplies fresh produce for local restaurants (delivered by bicycle).  Also the space hosted a three day festival called ThinkLandia.  Pop up art installations and stores also allow the community to engage & connect.