Three 12-story towers are offered on a three-story podium of commercial space on the ground floor and over 430 underground parking spaces. If built, the complex would be the first major residential construction on the south side of Main Street from the city approved a city center plan in 2018 seeking to replace large areas of surface parking with new buildings.
The plans were proposed because the city sees more high-density residential construction in the city center, much of which is aimed at higher-income people.
The committee voted unanimously on Wednesday night in a meeting held via video conference to allow several by-laws waivers required for buildings that City staff qualify as minors given the scope of the plans.
Sarah Anderson, a senior city planner, told the meeting that city staff strongly support the plans.
“This is a perfect example of a thoughtful urban infill development that recognizes the streetscape at the pedestrian scale, while providing a sort of sophisticated, high-density development in big cities,” she said. declared.
The plans required committee approval for four things:
- Allow parking spaces between the facade of the building and the street. Plans call for a one-way loop entrance with parking for business units and delivery areas.
- Increasing setbacks on certain sides of the building.
- Reduce the setback from the “backyard”. Anderson noted that the city’s bylaw technically means that the Record Street side of the building is considered its backyard, although it is expected that there will be commercial units at street level.
- Allow towers to stray from the street less than necessary. Anderson said the podium and the three-lap design means the plans are in line with the intent of the rule.
It would be built on a vacant lot previously occupied by a grocery store bounded by Assomption Boulevard, as well as Foundry and Record streets.
Developer John Lafford, based in Sackville, New Brunswick, proposed the development.
Construction is planned in three phases, with approximately 450 units once fully built.
Lafford said more than half will be one-bedroom units, with most of the rest being two-bedroom units. He said there will also be a few penthouse apartments with three bedrooms.
Coun. Charles Léger, committee member, asked Lafford if he would include housing considered affordable. Lafford said affordability will be determined by construction costs.
“At this point, I cannot speculate how many will be identified [as affordable] because it’s part of the fundraising plan that hasn’t been fully identified yet… but I believe you’re building profitably so that you can offer an affordable product, ”Lafford said.
Leger said he supported the comprehensive plans and was happy to see development in this area of the city.
A traffic study based on 2019 volumes found that the city will need to make changes in the coming years to Assomption Boulevard as it nears capacity.
City staff described the changes as things like removing some parking lots to add lanes or changes to existing lanes. It was estimated that the work would cost between $ 150,000 and $ 200,000.
Committee member Frances LeBlanc said the city should look at the overall impact of various new residential developments, instead of analyzing the effects of each as proposed.
Anderson said no water or sewer upgrades are required for the building.
No one from the public spoke out for or against the plans at the meeting.
Lafford told the committee he hopes construction will begin as early as July, with the first units available for rent in September 2023.
Parts of a crane have already been delivered to the site. A building permit is always required before the start of construction.
Among the things the committee approved is the requirement for the developer to sign an agreement with the council to comply with any conditions set by the city before this permit can be issued.
The newly elected council is expected to vote on an agreement on the plans at its June meeting.