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Building with restaurant and housing planned across from Nanaimo hospital

Former TD Bank will be demolished to make way for new development
An artist’s rendering of a proposed mixed-use building at the corner of Boundary and Dufferin crescents. (OCA Architecture image)

Nanaimo city council issued a development permit for a planned mixed-use building with a restaurant and housing that will be built to service the hospital area.

R.W. (Bob) Wall Ltd., on behalf of Hospital Commons on the corner of Boundary and Dufferin crescents, has an application in the works for a five-storey building at 1588 Boundary Cres., the former TD Bank building.

The 200-seat restaurant would take up the ground, mezzanine and second floors of the building, and the third, fourth and fifth storeys would have a total of 12 one-bedroom residential units ranging from 400-500 square feet.

Donna Hais, general manager of R.W. (Bob) Wall Ltd., told the city’s design advisory panel last year that the restaurant will not be a franchise. She said there is a memorandum of understanding in place with a private group that includes the former Windward Pub about a family restaurant that will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and cater to hospital staff, patients and visitors with menu items such as grab-and-go sandwiches, for example.

The housing is intended for hospital staff and is part of the developer’s comprehensive vision for the block, which included a parking garage, medical centre, pharmacy and coffee shop as a previous phase and will include a hotel and more parking as a future phase.

“We have been busy building infrastructure that supports [the] growth and development of the hospital which is necessary to service the 450,000 people we service at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital,” Hais told the design panel.

The applicant only intends to provide 40 of the required 68 parking spaces on site, but will provide the additional 28 spaces at the adjacent Colville Medical Centre at 1515 Dufferin Cres., an arrangement that the city’s parking bylaw allows.

The city’s director of planning and development, Jeremy Holm, called the project a “significant improvement” to the property and city council was unanimous in voting to issue the permit.

“That area I know very well and the buildings that are currently there are very tired,” said Coun. Janice Perrino. “This is a real thrill to see this.”

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About the Author: Greg Sakaki

I have been in the community newspaper business for two decades, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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