VICTORIA, British Columbia, March 16, 2020 – Nicola Wealth Real Estate (NWRE) has recently completed a conversion of the former Harbour Towers Hotel into The James, a 219-unit rental tower with hotel-inspired amenities and breathtaking views of the Victoria Harbour and coastline. Located in the heart of Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood, the iconic building takes on new life as a collection of contemporary rental units bringing much needed supply to the market.
When NWRE acquired the property in 2015, the building continued to operate as a hotel until 2017 when the real estate arm of Nicola Wealth decided to close the doors and begin the transformation and a new chapter for the aging building. Calling on the expertise of development partner, Omicron, the revolution of 345 Quebec Street started taking shape, including reconfiguring rooms to suites in the tower and cutting a new L-shaped courtyard through the two storey podium containing banquet and meeting rooms to create 37 new suites opening on to the new landscaped courtyard. The indoor pool was retained and revitalized including a new fully glazed wall providing views and access to the courtyard. Amenities also include a gym, great room and spaces to relax, work, and play.
Sustainable design features used throughout the project include new thermally efficient glazing, enhanced envelope insulation and low flow plumbing fixtures. “Energy modelling confirms that the sustainable measures implemented will result in the completed building using 29% less energy and 58% less water than the operating hotel in its last year of operation in 2016,” said Doug Vincent, Principal/Senior Director of Renewals at Omicron.
At a time when the rental crisis in the Victoria area continues to escalate and vacancy sitting around 1%, the added supply is welcomed. “The James will deliver a new standard of service and resident experience that is generating excitement and a lot of anticipation in Victoria’s rental housing market that is in much need of new, high quality supply”, said Gary Lee, Managing Director, Residential with BentallGreenOak. “Our property management team has created partnerships with local businesses in the community to deliver compelling services to our residents and we look forward to welcoming them in mid-March.”
This project is the first build-to-own project within Nicola Wealth Real Estate’s greater real estate strategy. The firm has plans to identify other value-add properties of this kind to acquire and manage as part of their Value Add/Development portfolio.
To learn more about the Nicola Wealth Real Estate funds, you can visit realestate.nicolawealth.com.
About Nicola Wealth Real Estate
Nicola Wealth Real Estate (NWRE) is the in-house real estate team of Nicola Wealth, a premier Canadian financial planning and investment firm with $7-billion (CAD) of assets under management. NWRE has an experienced and innovative team that sources and asset manages a growing portfolio of properties in major markets across North America including a diversified range of asset classes including office, retail, industrial, multi-family residential, self-storage, and seniors housing. The current real estate portfolio is $4.0 Billion gross asset value.
About Nicola Wealth
Established in 1994, Nicola Wealth (www.nicolawealth.com) helps families and accomplished individuals across Canada build financial legacies with purpose, delivering the stability, security, and resources they need to focus on goals and aspirations that extend beyond wealth. The firm manages $7-billion in assets, providing portfolio diversification well beyond stocks and bonds, comprehensive and integrated wealth planning, and consistent and stable returns.