Marigold 7874 Lochside Drive Saanich 38 condos, 9 townhouses and 8 duplexes by Marigold Lands Ltd

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

Marigold: Saanich Peninsula location ‘an opportunity to do something really special’

Michael Bernard
The Vancouver Sun

Marigold, Saanich, B.C.

Project Address: 7874 Lochside Dr., Saanich, B.C.

Project Scope: A total of 55 residences, 38 condominiums, nine townhouses and eight duplexes, on eight acres of land about five kilometres south of Sidney and 20 kilometres north of Victoria. Close to B.C. Ferries’ Swartz Bay terminal and Victoria International Airport, five minutes to a beach. Long-term plan calls for as many as 250 homes in a walkable neighbourhood with commercial, retail and community buildings.

Prices: From $329,000 with one-bedroom units ranging between 537 and 608 sq. ft. and two-bedroom homes from 912 sq. ft. to 972 sq. ft.

Developer: Marigold Lands Ltd.

Architect: KPL James Architects

Interior Design: Kimberly Williams Interior Designs

Sales Centre: 2387 Beacon Ave., Sidney, B.C.

Sales phone: 250.655.0615

Hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 12 noon to 4 p.m.


Completion Date: 2019

Marigold Lands, a $138 million project to build 250 homes on former nursery land on the Saanich Peninsula, had an improbable start, by developer Tim Hackett’s account.

“I went to the (former) Marigold Nursery to buy some African daisies for my wife,” says Hackett, “and I came back with the daisies and the (eight-acre) nursery.”

While there, he fell into a conversation with Ray Smith, the nursery’s owner, who had supplied plants to Hackett’s previous housing developments. While chatting, Smith said he wanted to sell the land. Hackett immediately made him an offer, they closed the deal with a hand shake.

Hackett, who has been developing land on Vancouver Island for more than 40 years, said he jumped on the sale because he knows all too well how hard it is to acquire developable land on the Saanich Peninsula. The resulting land shortage has driven up prices by as much as 40 per cent a year in recent times.

“Very seldom now do you get an opportunity to buy such a big site,” he says. “A lot of development today is in-fill, small lots with one building on them. But this an opportunity to do something really special.”

Named after the family-run nursery it replaces, Marigold’s first phase involves construction of 38 condominium homes in a five-storey wood frame building, eight townhouses and eight duplexes. The one and two-bedroom homes range between 537 square feet and 608 square feet and 912 and 972 square feet respectively. Prices for one-bedroom homes start at $329,000 while two bedrooms start at $499,000. The eight three-bedroom townhouses are 1,841 square feet while the eight three-bedroom duplexes measure 2,067 square feet with prices to be determined.

About 30 per cent of the 38 units have been sold to date to first-time buyers, local downsizers selling their larger single-family homes and people cashing in their equity in the Metro Vancouver area and moving to Vancouver Island, Hackett said.

The presentation centre in Sidney has a sample kitchen, living room and bath area and a touch screen panel that provides people with shots of the view from any given floor of the complex. Some homes have views of Georgia Strait including James Island, Sidney Island and D’Arcy Island plus Saanichton Bay Park.

Hackett said one feature of the property that particularly attracted him is that the site is relatively flat, making for a compact, walkable neighbourhood with featured public spaces and a mix of residential, commercial, retail and community buildings. Included in the centre of the site is a public park with a children’s play centre.

It is the largest residential project to be undertaken on the Peninsula since 2002, when Hackett developed 130 units of single family houses, townhouses and condominiums on what was called the Polo Grounds. The single-family homes, which sold in the $200,000 to $300,000 range, now fetch over a million dollars each, says Hackett.

Hackett credited the current Central Saanich Council for having the vision to see that it is through density that affordable housing can be created on Vancouver Island.  Another part of the answer is building homes close to where people live. He retold a story he had heard from an engineer for nearby Viking Air, which employs more than 1,000 people, in manufacturing parts and servicing de Havilland aircraft.

“She said she can’t afford Victoria and drives to work from her home in Duncan. She also said there are employees who camp out in their cars during the week and drive home on the weekends.”

Inside the condos, there are nine-foot ceilings in the main living space and bedrooms and eight-foot ceilings in the bathrooms. Kitchens come with a KitchenAid steel appliance package that includes a full-depth 30-inch refrigerator, a 30-inch dual fuel gas and electric range with an overhead KitchenAid 30-inch microwave hood, a 24-inch dishwasher and front load washer and dryer.

Kitchen cabinetry is flat panelled and is available in light and dark options with modern straight-grained high-pressure laminated wood textures that model real wood. Countertops are quartz.

Ensuite bathrooms feature glass panel showers while guest bathrooms have a tub with a shower rod.

Chloe Ramsey and her husband purchased a one-bedroom suite for their mother Francine, who currently lives 45 minutes away from them.  Buying into Marigold means cutting their drive down to 10 minutes.

“It is also nice and close to the (Saanich Peninsula Hospital) as well,” she says. But the couple is also thinking about the future, says Chloe, who notes that as a financial advisor, she is always thinking ahead.

“From the point of view of an investment 20 years down the road, we have it for our kids  (both under age four) to use if they go to university,” she says.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

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