Re­gen­er­at­ing Syd­ney on agenda

Open house will let res­i­dents give feed­back on what they want in com­mu­nity

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF news@cb­

Change is ahead for the Syd­ney Water­front Dis­trict and on Satur­day res­i­dents will have a chance to learn what could be done and voice their opin­ions on what they would like to have in a re­vi­tal­ized com­mu­nity.

The Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Syd­ney Water­front Dis­trict As­so­ci­a­tion and the Na­tional Trust for Canada are join­ing to­gether to host an open house this Satur­day at 15 Prince St., bot­tom floor of the for­mer Smart Shop Place (for­mer Cape Bre­ton Fudge Shop), from 1-4 p.m.

“It is to let peo­ple know that the project is un­der­way and what the broad goals of the project will be,” says Rick Mc­Cready, se­nior plan­ner for the CBRM. “The project is re­ally start­ing. This open house is kind of the project launch and what’s hap­pen­ing is the Syd­ney Water­front Dis­trict As­so­ci­a­tion and the CBRM and the Na­tional Trust for Canada, which is a na­tional her­itage or­ga­ni­za­tion based in Ottawa, we’re part­ner­ing on this project and it’s ba­si­cally a lit­tle more than a two-year project and it’s re­ally just get­ting started.”

A staff per­son will look af­ter the project and was just hired to do the job, ac­cord­ing to Deputy Mayor El­don MacDon­ald.

“So it’s the first time that we’ve ac­tu­ally had some­one wholly hired by con­tract to work on the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Syd­ney water­front dis­trict so that’s ex­cit­ing for us, and to hope­fully re­al­ize some op­por­tu­ni­ties there,” said MacDon­ald.

Those who at­tend the open house will have a chance to meet him, as well as mem­bers and staff of the Syd­ney Water­front Dis­trict As­so­ci­a­tion, the CBRM and the Na­tional Trust for Canada.

Last week, CBRM coun­cil en­dorsed in prin­ci­ple a plan from Ek­istics Plan + De­sign to re­vi­tal­ize the down­town core that calls for $10.5 mil­lion in in­vest­ments for the area. The $10.5-mil­lion fig­ure wouldn’t in­clude the cost of any re­quired land ac­qui­si­tions but would in­clude just over $7.5 mil­lion to redesign Char­lotte Street from Dorch­ester to Townsend Street. It also out­lines about $973,000 for park­ing lot en­hance­ments at the Capri Lounge, $585,000 for two-way street con­ver­sions and in­ter­sec­tions, al­most $744,000 for Ge­orge Street lin­ear parks, $327,000 for sig­nage and wayfinding, $285,000 for a façade pro­gram and just over $100,000 to in­stall mod­ern park­ing me­tres.

Mc­Cready says the project may in­clude work­ing with in­di­vid­ual build­ing own­ers on ideas for what they can do with their build­ings.

“We have a lot of sec­ond and third floor space that’s just empty, just be­ing used for stor­age and ob­vi­ously just try­ing to fill the empty store­fronts will be part of this,” said Mc­Cready. “That’s why it’s re­ally a part­ner­ship — it’s not just about re­build­ing the street or pre­serv­ing her­itage build­ings, it’s very broad. It’s all as­pects of try­ing to re­vi­tal­ize the down­town.

“It’s also to hear about peo­ple’s ideas about what they would like to see in the down­town.”

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