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Image Credit: Kendra Crighton/News Staff

A new pop-up exhibit in Fan Tan Alley aims to connect passersby to the history of the area.

The exhibit features a map from 1891 that highlights Fan Tan Alley, also known as “the bank street,” as an economic centre that connected the trans-Pacific trade to the interior. During this time, the opium trade was still legal and brought the city “a lot of revenue at the time,” according to Tzu-I Chung, curator of the exhibit.

Across from the map, is a digital showcase of a handmade lantern that was displayed at the Chinese Freemason’s headquarters – which is one of the oldest Chinese organizations in the country, dating back to 1863 – in Victoria and likely at local Lantern Festivals during the 1930s and 1940s.

“[The lantern] is based on this very, very old – thousands of years old – way of heating up from below and then using that heat to make the plate revolve,” explains Chung, emphasizing the craftsmanship needed to connect the moving parts of the lantern.

Chung says the goal of the exhibit is to make people stop and think about the connection of that place to the history, along with seeing the amazing art and crafts from that time. The lantern is in a digital format because it is extremely fragile and not in a condition to be on display for long periods of time.

The exhibit officially opens on July 24.

Read the full article at Victoria News here: https://www.vicnews.com/news/fan-tan-alley-exhibit-connects-victoria-visitors-with-history-of-canadas-oldest-chinatown/

See the recent announcement from the Province of BC, announcing its $10 million dollar contribution to establish Canada's first Chinese Canadian Museum!

Link to Video: https://youtu.be/SbjWolprOFE

The Salient Group is pleased to be working with Victoria's Chinatown Museum Society and the Royal BC Museum on an exciting initiative. More to come...

A building on Wharf Street known for its nautical history and giant mural of orcas could become a boutique hotel.

Robert Fung, president of the Salient Group, which owns the property at 1244-1252 Wharf St., said the company is considering how to redevelop the building and has approached the City of Victoria for a zoning change that would allow a hotel.

“It’s early stages and we are looking at all our options going forward,” Fung said in an interview. “Hotels are allowed all around, but not on this specific site. So we want to get some consistency on zoning and take into account all the conversations on what to do” with the property.

The building — with three storeys above street grade and two below sloping to the harbour — was built in 1882 by James Yates and designed by John Teague. An addition was added in 1896.

Fung said the building could potentially support 25 hotel rooms on the upper and lower floors, and a vibrant street-level business such as a pub or restaurant would add to the hotel’s appeal and bring more activity to the foot of Yates Street. He said it would be a traditional hotel — not a short-term rental, as the city restricted that use two years ago to combat a growing housing affordability crisis.

Fung said the company also wants to use the waterfront and David Foster Walkway in some way to support the hotel. Several ideas will be considered over the next several months, he said.

Read the full article at the Times Colonist here: https://www.timescolonist.com/business/hotel-plan-for-historic-building-on-victoria-s-wharf-street-1.24150276

A significant modernization effort along downtown Victoria's 'Antique Row' has presented an opportunity for downtown residents, merchants,workers and future business operators to re-envision the future of the retail corridor.

The 800-block of Fort Street, which for generations was the Capital’s ground zero for antiques, used furniture and vintage housewares that earned it the moniker, is undergoing redevelopment in the form of three mixed-use residential and commercial projects that will rejuvenate nearly half of the block’s street-side frontage.

With the first building just completing construction, a second green-lighted and a third in the final stages of municipal approvals, the trio of new-builds will deliver 14,000 square feet of retail opportunities to Fort Street and nearly 430 residences catering to young professionals, downtown workers and seniors.

As the projects draw closer, the stakeholders involved are directing their focus towards the community for a conversation on how Victorians feel about Fort Street, and what form the block’s future retail make-up should take.

“Rarely does an opportunity to have an open discussion on the character of the street-level experience of a central city block present itself,and especially one that for generations has been a special destination for Victorians,” says Robert Fung, founder of The Salient Group that is leading two of the development efforts.

“What do Victorians value about this stretch of Fort Street? What do residents, workers, visitors and business owners think the character of Fort Street should be? What is necessary for a truly mixed-use neighbourhood to thrive, to become a destination and a vibrant addition to the downtown core?We’d love to continue that dialogue."

The Salient Group’s projects – a mid-rise nearing completion at 840 Fort Street as the six-storey Sawyer Block with 60 affordable rental suites and 900 square feet of retail space, and a 10-storey building approved at 819-827 Fort Street comprised of 100 rental apartments and 5,000 square feet of commercial/retail space – will collectively yield approximately 6,000 square feet for restaurants, shops,bistros or professional offices. Most notably, both of these projects have retained portions of the original historic buildings on their sites, creating a strong sense that this neighbourhood is evolving on the strength of its character, rather than ignoring its past.

“Our approach is always to try and understand what is in the hearts and minds of the people that really value a place, and to reconcile this with the needs of those that will populate the community we are creating.Feedback and ideas are always welcome,” Fung says.

Individuals wishing to comment on the future of Fort Street and to share their ideas of an ideal mix of commercial services can head to the full article at Citified for more information.

Read the full article at Citified Victoria here: https://victoria.citified.ca/news/victorians-asked-to-weigh-in-on-future-of-fort-street-s-antique-row-retail-make-up-as-new-devs-lead-storefront-revival/

Image Credit: @Kryzzzie/Instagram

We can't wait to welcome the Twisted Fork Bistro into Gastown!

We're eagerly waiting for their doors to re-open next month in their new location at 213 Carrall Street, and know that our neighbours are very excited too. In the meantime, we'll be thinking about the eggs benny and banana stuffed brioche french toast....

Read more at: https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/food-and-drink/twisted-fork-bistro-brunch-gastown-vancouver-2018191

We are excited to announce that we are now accepting tenant applications for the Sawyer Block. If you are interested in renting a pet-friendly home located in the heart of Fort Street, please click here to fill out an application form.

The first move-ins will start February 1, 2020, and our fantastic team at Servissio Property Services will be more than happy to speak with you and answer any questions you might have.

We look forward to welcoming you home!

We're excited to show a peek inside Sawyer Block. Progress is being made and the residences are shaping up beautifully.  

Above is a picture inside a Type A residence.  If you would like to see the floor plans for all the residences, please follow the link provided below!


Please continue to look out for updates as things are progressing at 840 Fort Street. If you haven't registered yet don't forget to do so using the link above.

Robert Fung has taken his first step in helping to revitalize the 800-block of Fort Street. Next month he intends to take a leap.

The president of the Vancouver-based The Salient Group has been watching over construction of his 60-unit rental project at 840 Fort St., that will bring micro-suites to the block this winter. In September, he seeks approval from the City of Victoria for a 101-unit rental building that could change the dynamics of the street, if not the look of it.

Fung is hoping the project at 819-827 Fort St., which will maintain the historic facades of a pair of Fort Street buildings while bringing a range of rental housing and 5,000 square feet of commercial space to the neighbourhood, will continue the rebuild of the block. If this latest project gets the green light Sept. 5, he will be responsible for a large chunk of re-energized real estate on the block, but Fung is the first to credit his new neighbours for breathing life into the street.

Click here to read the full article by Andrew Duffy at the Times Colonist.

Source: https://www.timescolonist.com/business/new-downtown-housing-at-core-of-fort-street-revitalization-idea-1.23927920

On Tuesday, August 20th, 2019, Robert Fung of The Salient Group was joined by The Government of Canada at a special housing announcement for the Sawyer Block at 840 Fort Street - Salient's exciting new project in downtown Victoria with 60 purpose-built rental apartment homes. ​​​​​​​In attendance was special guest Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Spadina - Fort York.

Sawyer Block is being funded with a $13.25 million loan from the federal Rental Construction Financing Initiative - a program offered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to provide low-cost financing for rental projects. The federal government expects the federal financing initiative will encourage the construction of 42,500 rental units across the country through the course of the 10-year, $55-billion national housing strategy

The CRD’s housing-needs assessment has noted that by 2038 Greater Victoria will need 34,000 rental units in the region.The project at 840 Fort St. aims to help in at least one segment of the rental market. Robert Fung, chief executive of the Salient Group, which is building the $15.5-million Sawyer Block project, said the micro-suites are geared toward workers in the tech and service sectors. Of the 60 units, 44 are micro-lofts and the other 16 are one-bedroom units.

Read the full article at the Times Colonist here.

Source: https://www.timescolonist.com/business/ottawa-kicks-in-13-25m-for-downtown-victoria-rental-complex-1.23921654

Citified's Ten on the 10th is a monthly question-and-answer segment connecting our readers with the insight and knowledge of Victoria's top real-estate and business professionals.

May's Ten on the 10th features Robert Fung, founder The Salient Group, a Vancouver-based real-estate development firm.

Asking the questions is Ross Marshall, Senior Vice President of the Victoria offices of commercial real-estate brokerage CBRE. As a leader in facilitating large-scale commercial real-estate transactions throughout the Capital Region – which include apartment complexes, industrial retail and office properties, and land/development opportunities – Ross and his team are at the forefront of market-leading real-estate transactions on Vancouver Island.

Read the full article here.

Source: https://victoria.citified.ca/news/ten-on-the-10th-real-estate-development-with-robert-fung-of-the-salient-group/

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Latest Updates

Sawyer Block coming early 2020! Apply now.
First Chinese Canadian Museum Set for BC!
July 16, 2020
Learn more
Fan Tan Alley Exhibit in Canada's Oldest Chinatown
July 24, 2020
Learn more