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Business at YYJ

York Development

York Realty, an Edmonton-based commercial real estate developer, is proposing to construct a 240,000 sq. ft. 2 storey warehouse with an attached parkade and rooftop parking on 7.95 acres of industrial-zoned land at the Victoria International Airport.  This facility represents a long-term lease commitment with Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) and is intended to strengthen YYJ's strategic position as a major transportation and logistics hub.

Development Features

  • Building footprint of 173,000 sq. ft. (51% site coverage not including parking canopy);
  • Overall developed site coverage of 67% including building and elevated parking canopy;
  • Building height: 22.9m;
  • Multiple vehicle access points to rationalize vehicle activity with function and minimize traffic disruption to existing roadways and the adjoining residential community (e.g. line haul trucks limited to access facility property via McDonald Park Road only);
  • Parking stalls have been designed to facilitate the progressive staging of approximately 150 delivery trucks as well as providing for onsite parking for employees;
  • Exterior lighting is limited (especially roof-top lighting) and designed to minimize impact with airport operations and the surrounding residential neighbourhood;
  • Enhanced landscaping along perimeter of property visible to the public;
  • Construction cost estimate: + $50 million;
  • Estimated completion: Spring, 2022.

Current Status

This proposal has been reviewed by the Victoria Airport Authority and submitted to the Town of Sidney Planning Department for review and comments.  It is expected that a response from the Town of Sidney will be received on May 11, 2021 at which time that VAA will review the comments and consider any recommendations that may be included.   Note: final approval of this development has not yet been issued by VAA.

Comments and Questions

We'd like to hear from you!  Members of the public can send comments and questions regarding this proposed development directly to VAA.  Our email address is yorkproject@victoriaairport.com .

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How will this development impact traffic in the area?

Given that this a warehouse and distribution facility utilizing an inventory of over 100 trucks, naturally this development will see an overall increase in traffic in the area.  However, delivery dispatch schedules are proposed to occur during off-peak daytime hours and avoid the morning and late afternoon traffic rush.  Line haul truck arrivals and departures will be occurring in the late evening only and will access the site from the west access point and reverse into an enclosed structure.

Is the construction of a traffic circle at the corner of Beacon Avenue and Galaran Road part of this development?

While not part of this particular development proposal, the introduction of a traffic circle at this intersection has been identified for some time and included as a short-term (within 5 years) recommendation in the recently completed Beacon West Traffic Study commissioned as a joint initiative by the Town of Sidney, Victoria Airport Authority and District of North Saanich. As part of a number of traffic improvements recommended in the study, VAA is currently in discussions with both municipalities on how the construction of the traffic circle may be realized. 

Will residents in the area be exposed to excessive noise and light coming from the facility?

The development proposal has taken into account design elements which should help mitigate excessive emission of noise and light, including having the line haul delivery truck accessing the site from McDonald Park Road (the opposite side of the building from Galaran Road), ensuring truck dispatch occurs during the daytime and not in the early evening, and incorporating minimal exterior lighting, especially along the Galaran Road side of the facility.

Why is this building so high?

In order to accommodate the space required for the type of distribution operation being proposed, the building has been designed as multi-level in order to fit onto the 7.95 acre parcel, as opposed to a more traditional single-storey warehouse structure requiring significantly more land.  For comparison purposes, the building's height of 22.76m is 0.09m less than the Sidney Pier Hotel, 5m taller than the Sobey/Thrifty Distribution Centre located on 13.8 acres on Mills Road, and 11.5m more than the new Town of Sidney Public Safety Building at its tallest point.

How many jobs will this create?

It's anticipated that the facility will create about 110 new jobs including managers, supervisors, and sorting personnel, in addition to the approximately 150 delivery drivers.

Have there been any consideration given to this development's impact on the environment?

The development itself uses vertical density rather than horizontal sprawl to accomplish in a 7.95 acres site what would usually take a 25 acre site.  The building is anticipated to have a solar array on the south and west face (100kW) and is being constructed in anticipation of electric vehicle use in the future (which are heavier than gas vehicles).

Why is this building sometimes being referred to as a “last-mile” distribution centre?

When customers purchase items online, often the products are stored in a large centralized warehouse and then forwarded to a more local distribution centre for sorting and delivery to the customer - in essence completing the “last mile” of the delivery process for the item being purchased.   The York development is classified as a last-mile facility, meaning goods will arrive, be sorted, and dispatched for final delivery in a timeframe taking less than 24 hours to complete.

Could the land this facility is being constructed on be used for anything else related to the airport or for farming?

Having no airfield access, this parcel of land is designated as Industrial as per VAA's land use plan and is adjacent to other industrial-based operations and as such is neither zoned or appropriate for aviation or agricultural purposes. This development is an approved use under  VAA's land use plan and aligns with the Town of Sidney OCP.

The long-term development of this parcel as well as other airport land is part of a broader strategy to diversify and strengthen YYJ's revenue base.