A trendy new development will soon be breaking ground in Victoria, B.C. and it's inspired by the TV show Friends. In fact, Ross Terrace is named after the dinosaur-loving, "Pivot"-screaming character, Ross Geller. The Friends-themed Victoria rental complex will be home to 64 rental units, a private courtyard, and the Vancouver Island School of Art (VISA). Soon you will see construction beginning at 2566, 2570, 2580 Fifth St. The project is planned to take about 13 months.
Narcity spoke to Luke Mari with ARYZE Developments about the project. ARYZE is millennial owned and operated, so this development is truly by the people, for the people. "We think that what best represents the project is the TV show Friends," he told us. In fact, in ARYZE's presentation to the City of Victoria council, the first slide was a giant picture of their project's namesake, Ross. Clearly, the council may have been made up of Friends fans because the project was approved.
Mari explained that his team drew inspiration from Friends because it perfectly demonstrates how young people want to live in urban areas that are walkable, lively, and allow your friends to pop by as they see fit. Whatever happened to the good old fashioned pop-by? ARYZE Developments wants to create homes that are both homes and vehicles to drive your social life.
Not only are the units designed for the millennial lifestyle, but they're also priced for the millennial lifestyle. "We worked really hard on figuring out the affordability," Mari explained. As a result, "20% of the rental units are affordable housing with pricing that is tied to income."
In keeping with the Friends theme, this building is right downtown. "A rental building that’s right on the doorstep of downtown is pretty rare for Victoria," said Mari. The location is just blocks away from the downtown core, right on the number six bus route and steps away from anything you may want to do, see, or eat.
Rather than Central Perk being located on the bottom floor of the building, Ross Terrace is home to the Vancouver Island School of Art. The story of how VISA found its new home at Ross Terrace is pretty heartwarming.
According to BC Local News, VISA was evicted from their former location in 2018. As neighbours to VISA, ARYZE Developments thought it was the perfect idea to include the institute in their new project. He told us that ARYZE picked up the land about two and a half years ago. After hearing that VISA was losing their home, they decided to offer them a new one "We didn’t want them to have to leave the area," he continued.
The school will have a cool, modern concrete look with double-high ceilings and moveable walls for flex-space. In addition, the apartments above the school will act as artists' residences through the "artist in residency rental program where artists working out of VISA can get first dibs on the affordable rental studios," Mari told us.
Including VISA and artist rentals is the perfect new-age spin on the Friends-inspired complex. We're beyond excited to see what quirky characters move into Ross Terrace and we are delighted that the Vancouver Island School of Art has found an awesome new home.
You no longer need to visit the "Friends couch" in Dallas or the Central Perk pop-up in Arizona to get your Friends fill. You can live it right here in Victoria. There are tons of things to do and people to meet in Victoria, might as well be in thick of it.