A developer’s long-term vision of a south-end neighbourhood near downtown Nanaimo is becoming much clearer now.
Parkshore Projects Ltd., the development company behind proposed condominium projects along Haliburton Street, held an open house Feb. 27, showing off its long-term plans for an area south of Milton Street and east of Nicol Street which it’s calling the Harbourview District.
Mike Parker, president of Parkshore, told the News Bulletin the open house was held to give residents an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming developments and the ultimate vision for the neighbourhood.
“We sent invitations to about 1,000 homeowners in the area to invite them and show them what we are doing and ask us questions,” he said. “We’re trying to be good neighbours.”
Parkshore currently has one development, a 29-unit condominium at 119 Haliburton St., under construction, as well as three proposed developments, which are named Prospect, Evolve and Cornerstone.
Prospect is a planned 76-unit multi-family development consisting of two five-storey buildings between 135-155 Haliburton St. Parkshore has submitted a development permit application to the city for the project. Meanwhile, Cornerstone is a five-storey mixed-use development planned for an area beside McDonald’s on Nicol Street, while Evolve is a development consisting of two five-storey, mixed-use buildings located at 108 Haliburton St. on the corner of Finlayson Street.
Last week’s open house also featured a rendering showing more than a dozen low-rise and mid-rise residential buildings dotting Haliburton, Nicol and Irwin streets. Parker said that rendering is Parkshore’s long-term vision for the Harbourview District.
“This is based on the existing zoning, existing OCP, showing maximum and most beneficial land use and our rendering depicts that land use…” he said. “Anyone who is living in a home now, we’re not kicking them out. That is not our goal.”
Parker said beyond the developments already proposed, it is difficult to project what exactly will be included in future developments since Parkshore doesn’t own all of the land in the neighbourhood. He said the city is encouraging more density in and around downtown, and Parkshore plans to densify the area around Haliburton Street.
“Our 10-year build calls for 1,500 residential units,” he said.
During the open house, Kathryn Hazel, a member of the South End Community Association, told the News Bulletin that Parkshore has been good at keeping her organization informed about their plans and she is generally pleased with what she has seen. However, she said Parkshore’s invitation card for the open house caused a bit of a stir because it included the long-term rendering showing new buildings replacing existing homes.
“When people looked at it and saw their house was gone, they got really upset,” Hazel said.
Laurice Lovemore, a nearby resident, said she liked what she saw from Parkshore.
“I think that it is good to develop this part of this city. I’m new here and I think there is a lot of potential for what it could be…” she said. “Being so close to the water, the seaplanes and the ferries, it good to have a development like this and it’s also good to have new housing.”
But Judy Murray, a Haliburton Street resident, called Parkshore’s plans “absolutely frightening” and suggested the neighbourhood will ultimately look like Vancouver. She said she believes Parkshore isn’t keeping with the community association’s own plans for the neighbourhood and will ruin people’s view of the water.
“They’re going to take away all their views with these big boxes that they plan on building and I don’t think it is right and it is not keeping with the Victorian-style heritage style homes down here,” Murray said.