WINDSOR WATER­FRONT DE­VEL­OP­MENT PITCHED

Valley Journal Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - BY COLIN CHISHOLM HANTSJOURNAL.CA Colin.Chisholm@hantsjournal.ca

The po­ten­tial of chang­ing the face of the Windsor down­town is leav­ing some busi­ness own­ers con­cerned about the fu­ture location of their com­pany.

The June 26 rat­i­fi­ca­tion of an agree­ment be­tween the town and Par­sons Green De­vel­op­ments is the first step to­wards sell­ing the old Windsor Wear build­ing property. It’s part of what could be­come a much larger re­vamp of the area be­tween Up­per Wa­ter Street and King Street, along the Windsor water­front.

A long- term vi­sion for the area, drawn up by the de­vel­oper, shows the po­ten­tial for sev­eral apart­ments and mix-use build­ings head­ing there.

Pub­lic hear­ings will soon be sched­uled to get feed­back from citizens on what they’d like to see hap­pen to the land.

Chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Louis Coutinho said the de- veloper has not stated whether it would be buy­ing all of the sur­round­ing prop­er­ties to de­velop or if that would be done through other de­vel­op­ers.

Duf­ferin Place

Susan Morine, co- owner of CelticCuts, lo­cated inside Duf- ferin Place on Up­per Wa­ter Street, said she came to the coun­cil meet­ing to learn more about what could hap­pen to the build­ing she op­er­ates out of.

“We’re con­cerned about the loss of our busi­ness or hav­ing to move from where we are if this goes through,” Morine said, add- ing that CelticCuts has been in that location for 29 years.

“We don’t re­ally want to move.”

Morine said her busi­ness wasn’t con­sulted by Par­sons Green De­vel­op­ments dur­ing this process.

Krista Con­rad, an­other coowner of CelticCuts, said she’s in favour of progress, but wants to know what will hap­pen to them if the zoning change goes ahead.

“We do have con­cerns… where do we fit into the pic­ture?” Con­rad asked.

Com­pli­cat­ing mat­ters fur­ther, Duf­ferin Place is cur­rently listed un­der a town tax sale for $62,666. The tax sale is sched­uled for July 25, but the landowner could work out a pay­ment plan with the town be­fore that date.

“I’d like to see the build­ing stay, even if we could be a part of it,” she said. “We have a beau­ti­ful old build­ing, it just needs some TLC.”

De­vel­oper’s vi­sion

Noel Ta­iani, pres­i­dent of Par­sons Green De­vel­op­ments, says this part of Windsor is un­der­uti­lized.

“It’s an ex­cel­lent site; how­ever, the cur­rent municipal planning strat­egy and by­laws may not be ap­pro­pri­ate for what we would call sup­port­ing de­vel­op­ments,” Ta­iani said.

He said it wouldn’t make sense to have one apart­ment build­ing by it­self in that area, which is why he pro­posed re­zon­ing the en­tire area.

Ta­iani said his com­pany has al­ready done a lot of dili­gence around the project by speak­ing with ad­ja­cent landown­ers to en­sure that they would be on board with the vi­sion.

“The idea here is to in­vig­o­rate the down­town,” he said. “Peo­ple want to live closer to a sense of ac­tiv­ity. You bring the peo­ple there and that cre­ates more ac­tiv­ity, which in­creases the de­sire for peo­ple to live there.”

Res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment is the ini­tial fo­cus, but there’s the po­ten­tial for mixed- use build­ings with re­tail in the long-term.

Ta­iani wouldn’t say if his com­pany is planning to buy up the other prop­er­ties at this time, say­ing only, “it’s un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.”

“There’s a nexus in Windsor that hasn’t been fully uti­lized, it’s a good strad­dle be­tween a more ru­ral, slower- pace and the faster pace of the city,” he said. “It could be a bed­room com­mu­nity for peo­ple com­mut­ing to Hal­i­fax. There’s also the res­i­dents of Windsor and far­ther afield. If you’re look­ing at mov­ing from your sin­gle-fam­ily home to some­thing smaller, there isn’t a whole lot of choice.”

Ta­iani said the res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments would likely in­cor­po­rate un­der­ground park­ing, el­e­va­tors and other fea­tures that are com­monly found in sub­ur­ban and down­town Hal­i­fax.

Into 2019, he ex­pects more stud­ies to be done on the property, in­clud­ing geo- tech­ni­cal test­ing and more pub­lic con­sult­ing. He said the grander vi­sion of this de­vel­op­ment will likely take many years to build out.

“I think we’ll be part of put­ting a re- in­vig­o­rated Windsor on the map,” he said.

“I’d like to see the build­ing stay, even if we could be a part of it. We have a beau­ti­ful old build­ing, it just needs some TLC.” — Krista Con­rad, a co-owner of CelticCuts

COLIN CHISHOLM

CelticCuts own­ers, staff and their part­ners stand in front of Duf­ferin Place, where the hair sa­lon is lo­cated. They’re con­cerned what a new de­vel­op­ment plan for the area could mean for them.

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