A neighbourhood in south Nanaimo could be on the verge of undergoing a major transformation.
Parkshore Projects Ltd. is proposing to build three separate residential development projects – which are being called Prospect, Evolve and Cornerstone – along a stretch of Haliburton Street between Finlayson and Milton streets.
Mike Parker, president of Parkshore Projects Ltd., said the proposals are all part of the company’s plan to redevelop a part of the south-end neighbourhood that they’re calling the Harbourview District.
“Everything we are doing is going to contribute to the revitalization of the area and it is going to define and revitalize urban living in Nanaimo,” he said.
Prospect, according to Parker, is a multi-family development consisting of two five-storey buildings at 135-151 Haliburton St., beside the Outlook. Prospect will have a combined total of 76 residential units, comprising of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. A development permit for Prospect has been received by the City of Nanaimo.
“It is going to be the same kind of mix that the Outlook has,” Parker said. “There will be a few more smaller units and more studios. We found that there was a real desire for that, product-wise.”
Both buildings will have rooftop patios accessible for residents and underground parking.
Parker said the company expects to begin selling units for Prospect by October and hopes to see construction completed by mid-2020. He said the two projects alone will change the area.
“We’re immediately going to be bringing 114 new units into the area,” he said, referring to the Outlook and Prospect developments. “That in itself will change the demographic profile of the area.”
Parker said three existing buildings that currently remain on the property will need to be demolished as a result of the project, including Yellow Cab’s existing office, which, as part of a purchasing agreement, will be moved to 1005 Farquhar St.
“Part of this whole process is relocating the cab company,” he said. “We’re moving them two blocks south and one block east into a more industrial area and so we are going to be building them a new building.”
The project called Cornerstone is a five-storey mixed-use development planned for 145-155 Haliburton St. Although its address is listed as Haliburton Street, the development will be located along Nicol Street, beside McDonald’s. If realized, the development will result in 80 residential units, office space on the second floor and ground floor retail space, according to Parker.
Parkshore’s proposal Evolve is a development consisting of two five-storey mixed-use buildings located at 108 Haliburton St., on the corner of Finlayson Street. Parker said Evolve will have a combined total of 140 residential units as well as commercial space.
“The city wants to see mixed-use on this building,” he said. “So, we are proposing a little coffee shop for the neighbourhood.”
Both Evolve and Cornerstone would have underground parking and could be completed by as early as 2021, should the market allow for it, according to Parker.
“It’s all market-driven at this stage,” he said.
If Parkshore’s vision is realized, the developments would result in roughly 280 units of housing in the area and would involve the demolition of a number of existing properties along Nicol and Haliburton streets, including the Balmoral, which is the site of the Canadian Mental Health Association branch.
“We are in discussion with the Balmoral … and both parties have the intent to move forward,” he said.
According to Parker, all of Parkshore’s development proposals fit within the existing zoning and are supported by neighbourhood plans, neighbourhood associations and the official community plan. He said Parkshore sees the neighbourhood as a prime area for redevelopment and higher density due to its waterfront views and proximity to the downtown core.
“The state of the area is what really attracted us to it, combined with the view lines and how close it is to the urban centre,” he said.
Sandy McLellan, president of the South End Community Association, said the association supports Parkshore’s development plans for the neighbourhood.
“We’re supportive of their proposals,” he said. “We think the increased density will help attract businesses to the neighbourhood and help revitalize the area.”
Long-term, Parkshore has bigger plans for the Harbourview District, which includes other developments such as a taller condominium building further down Haliburton. Parker said he couldn’t publicly discuss the long-term vision at the moment, but said Parkshore believes the area can become an attractive urban neighbourhood in Nanaimo.
“I’ve built in North Vancouver and Kelowna markets and seen these industrial areas, these harder areas, turn into the epicentres of urban living and that is really our long-term focus here,” he said.
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