Hotel, condos, restaurants included in proposal
BRIDGEWATER - Rumours were laid to rest Monday when the Ontario owner of the South Shore Mall property unveiled ambitious plans for the site that include condominiums and a hotel.
Preliminary plans show multiple stand-alone buildings that developer Louis Reznick hopes will become restaurants, a hotel and a conference centre, along with three four-storey structures, two of which will be 50-unit apartment buildings and one a condominium building, also comprised of 50 units.
The hotel measures 50,000 square feet with room for a 15,000-square-foot conference centre, the plan shows.
A series of townhouses and single-unit dwellings are also planned.
"We're going to put our best foot forward not only to give the town a good development but one that esthetically will fit into theneighbourhood," Mr. Reznick told town council, adding that the town's completion of Glen Allan Drive was the "final piece of the puzzle" that ensured the project would proceed.
Mr. Reznick and project architect Foster MacKenzie showed town council initial plans for the 27 acres that, under the proposed plan, will still be accessible from both North Street and Aberdeen Road. The property was unsuccessfully proposed as a possible site for a multi-million dollar recreation centre. Mr. Reznick was hoping to sell it for $165,000 per net acre.
The Reznick proposal also shows a rebirth of the old rundown mall, which currently sits vacant and is blotched in black paint to cover up graffiti.
Mr. MacKenzie referred to the old mall when he commented that the development will "enhance a facility that's been sitting idle for too long."
A billiards club was the mall's last tenant and moved across town to King Street three years ago. But complaints about the condition of the property have never completely subsided.
Mr. Reznick said the new development is a good one that has commanded much time and effort. While promising "it will happen," he thanked the town for being allies in the project.
The first step will be demolishing the centre portion of the former mall to divide it into two separate buildings, one measuring 18,400 square feet designed for retail purposes, and adding a second floor to the other 40,000-square-foot building for things such as business offices.
Besides what he called getting a "good start" on the old mall portion of the project, Mr. Reznick estimates the hotel, two restaurants and one of the four-storey residential buildings could also be started within the next couple of months.
None of the tenants of the buildings were revealed. Negotiations are still ongoing to land the hotel tenant.
Mayor Carroll Publicover said the land is in a commercial zone and Mr. Reznick will require development permits but not a development agreement - which requires a minimum three-month process to obtain - before construction can start.
Mayor Publicover was pleased to see the development plan after years of talks and rumour.
"It's finally going to become a reality," said Mayor Carroll Publicover.
Bridgewater now waits to see the result of a traffic impact study that it agreed last year to cost share up to $5,700 with the developer.
|February 14, 2007||Next Article >|
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