Developer Fred Green is looking to add another storey to his Jailhouse development at the site of the former RCMP station on Belaire Street.
Green said that economic conditions borne by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced his hand to up the capacity of the development to make it economically viable.
“I made every effort to keep it at three storeys, but the practicality of a commercial floor and the residential above creates a need for a fair amount of parking.”
The original proposal faced significant push back from nearby residents who said that parking would be insufficient. At the time, underground parking wasn’t seen as a viable option. The proposal was shot down on the premise that underground parking would be for commercial users, which could create a dangerous situation around the intersection of Dogwood Drive and Belaire Street.
“Now we’ve come up with a model that allows us to put 20 underground parking spots in that is entirely for the residential component,” Green said.
When residents come out of the building, they will only be allowed to turn right, as allowing left turns could create a dangerous traffic situation.
There will be 20 above ground parking units in the parking lot on Green’s property, and 11 units of parking will be added across the street in front of Wickham Park. Those parking spaces will service both park users and commercial users.
With four storeys, the development will have 12 units of residential housing. The units will be a mixture of two-bedroom and one-bedroom units at an average of 1,000 square-feet, each with a 200 square-foot balcony. Green has not yet decided whether the units will be rented or sold as condos.
“I don’t know if rentals are more appealing than sales, so I’m going to leave myself with that flexibility for now. At some point in the process I’ll have to declare what is optimal for the circumstances,” Green said.
Other features of the development will include a green roof, individual air circulation for each unit, fire places to offer alternative heating sources, permeable walkways and patios, and indoor bike storage.
Green’s development obtained CD6 zoning at a public hearing held on Dec. 2, 2019. The CD6 zoning limited the project to three storeys. To add a fourth storey to his development, Green must go through the rezoning process once again.
“From a developer’s perspective, nobody would do what I’m doing. But, I’m not a developer, I’m just a guy trying to build a building. I’ve got some scars, it’s cost me a few bucks, but at the end of the day we’re going to have a pretty incredible site,” Green said.