A build­ing with a view

Devel­oper propos­ing $10-mil­lion residential-com­mer­cial com­plex for down­town Syd­ney

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY NANCY KING

Marty Ch­ernin says he be­lieves in Cape Bre­ton.

That is part of what is spurring his com­pany Har­bour Royal De­vel­op­ment Ltd.’s pro­posal to build an es­ti­mated $10-mil­lion, eight-storey mixed residential- com­mer­cial com­plex at the cor­ner of Dorch­ester Street and the Es­planade in down­town Syd­ney, over­look­ing the har­bour.

“I’m a big be­liever in CBRM and Cape Bre­ton Is­land and I think that the econ- omy even­tu­ally will turn around,” Ch­ernin said.

His con­fi­dence in the re­gion could help en­cour­age oth­ers look at in­vest­ing in the down­town, he added.

“We’ve de­vel­oped a lot of prop­er­ties in down­town Syd­ney, my part­ner Hugh Tweedie and I — Com­merce Tower, the Har­bour Place, TD Bank, Royal Bank, 500 Ge­orge Place — I still have a lot of con­fi­dence in Cape Bre­ton,” Ch­ernin said.

“I know the ups and downs, but I’ve been do­ing busi­ness here in one shape or another prob­a­bly for 50 years. I’ve seen down­turns and I’ve seen up­turns, and I still be­lieve there is po­ten­tial here.

Ch­ernin said he thinks there is a de­mand for nice wa­ter­front apart­ments in Syd­ney, with baby boomers a po­ten­tial main mar­ket.

“Peo­ple that their chil­dren have gone off and maybe they don’t want to have their homes any more or they’d rather be in an apart­ment, maybe they have a sum­mer place,” Ch­ernin said in an in­ter­view. “I just think the tim­ing is right.” It’s right, he said, be­cause he be­lieves the Donkin mine will go ahead, and he is hope­ful about a pro­posed liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas de­vel­op­ment at Bear Head, as well as po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ment around the port of Syd­ney.

The build­ing would be lo­cated op­po­site Com­merce Tower. The 42-apart­ment units would range in size from about 1,400-1,600 square feet. There would be un­der­ground park­ing avail­able for ten­ants.

It’s a smaller de­vel­op­ment than one he ini­tially pro­posed about a decade ago. That Span­ish Gates pro­ject would have been larger, with a mix of com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment and con­do­mini­ums and a ho­tel. In ad­di­tion to be­ing smaller and lack­ing the ho­tel com­po­nent, the cur­rent pro­posal is set back far- ther from the wa­ter and the build­ing will be lim­ited to land al­ready owned by Har­bour Royale.

At a meet­ing this week, Cape Bre­ton Re­gional coun­cil voted to hold a public par­tic­i­pa­tion pro­gram to be­gin in Septem­ber where res­i­dents can weigh in on pro­posed changes to the North End Syd­ney Plan­ning Strat­egy that will be re­quired to al­low the pro­ject to pro­ceed.

Coun­cil is also ask­ing Ch­ernin to un­der­take at his own ex­pense a traf­fic anal­y­sis for the de­vel­op­ment.

Ch­ernin said he has ad­justed the place­ment of the new build­ing on his lots to abide by rules pro­tect­ing view­planes of the wa­ter.

Once the public con­sul­ta­tion is con­cluded and if Ch­ernin is granted a per­mit to go ahead with con­struc­tion, he said he hopes work at the site could be­gin as early as late fall.

“I’m hop­ing if all goes well to get into the ground prob­a­bly by Novem­ber be­cause we have to drive piles and do the su­per­struc­ture,” he said.

Con­struc­tion would likely take 12-14 months to com­plete.


This con­cep­tual draw­ing de­picts what the view of the new build­ing pro­posed by Har­bour Royal De­vel­op­ment Ltd. for down­town Syd­ney would look like from Dorch­ester Street.


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