WINDSOR WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT PITCHED
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.
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.”
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
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.