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Dec 16: Vancity Enterprises and Windmill Developments win multi-million-dollar bid

Vancity Enterprises and Windmill Developments win multi-million-dollar bid to turn Victoria contaminated land into extreme green community

Victoria, December 16, 2004 – Vancity Enterprises and its partner Windmill Development Group have won the multi-million-dollar bid to redevelop Victoria’s Dockside lands into Dockside Green, an ecologically restorative and economically sound new community.

The decision to enter into contract negotiations was passed unanimously by Victoria City Council today. The Vancity Enterprises/Windmill bid was one of two finalists and selected over Vancouver developer Westbank Projects Corp.

“We’re really thrilled to have been chosen for Dockside,” says Jacques Khouri, President and CEO of Vancity Enterprises. “I think this will be a pivotal development for Victoria and will generate a lot of economic benefits to the City.”

“Windmill is committed to triple bottom line developments and we could not think of a better partner than Vancity Enterprises for a development of this magnitude and vision. This will be a world showcase in sustainable development and will be a model for how communities can contribute to meeting Kyoto targets,” says Joe Van Belleghem, Windmill partner.

The project will see 4.85 hectares of vacant contaminated land bound by Bay Street and Esquimalt turned into a new community. The successful $200-million proposal by Vancity Enterprises/Windmill will include affordable rentals and some housing for seniors, a boutique hotel, a commercial village, and 75,000 square feet of offices and lofts in a light-industrial precinct along Harbour Road.

This proposal was particularly favoured for its innovation in sustainability. The community will include onsite sewage treatment and be greenhouse gas neutral with heating and electricity provided by an energy system that will use wood waste. Other features will include a facility that will produce biodiesel from waste cooking oils, and a water-treatment system that will recycle wastewater treated for irrigation and collect rainwater to feed creeks and ponds along a greenway running the length of the project. Cycling, walking and mass transit are proposed as the main forms of transportation.

The project is the first multi-phased development to commit to Platinum standards under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating organization. The project was also unique in that it used a triple bottom line evaluation process whereby proposals were rated on social, economic and environmental factors.

Details of the Dockside Green proposal can be seen at

Vancity Enterprises/Windmill were one of five developers that bid for the contract. A Request for Expression of Interest was issued in May 2004 and a Request for Proposals was issued in September. Bidders were narrowed to two proposals in November and the public was invited to evaluate the proposals in early December 2004. A business case for sale and redevelopment of the lands was first recommended by the City in 2002.

Vancity Enterprises (VCE), part of the Vancity Group of Companies, is a socially responsible real estate market developer. With a focus on affordable and accessible housing, VCE works to balance commercial, social and urban design factors in a way that ensures long-term sustainability for the communities Vancity serves. Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $9.3 billion in assets, 305,000 members, and 41 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria.

Windmill Development Group is a visionary company dedicated to transforming traditional development practices by using a triple bottom line approach to its projects. This ensures that strong ecological, social and financial returns are achieved in all projects. Everything that the company does is conceived, designed and constructed to protect and enhance the local community and its ecosystems. This is done by incorporating innovations in land use, water, air, energy, design, waste management and smart building technologies. It has offices in Ottawa; and Victoria.

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $9.3 billion in assets, 305,000 members, and 41 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity was chosen as the best place to work in Canada for 2005 by Maclean’s Magazine as part of its annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers issue. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.