An artist rendering of DLX on Third, a proposed 181-unit residential complex at 560 Third St. (Wensley Architecture Ltd.)

Nanaimo city council issues permit for Third Street ‘gateway’ development

181 residential units plus commercial space to be built on site of former Armishaw farm

Nanaimo council approved a development in Harewood that city staff says will change the look of a “gateway” toward the downtown.

At a meeting last week, council issued a development permit for a 181-unit mixed-use project at 560 Third St. bordered by Howard Avenue and Lambert Avenue.

The project is made up of two four-storey buildings, with one of the buildings including ground-level commercial space. Both buildings will have a mix of two-bedroom, one-bedroom and studio suites. The application for the project, called DLX on Third, was submitted by Wensley Architecture Ltd. on behalf of Wertman Development Corporation.

Dale Lindsay, the city’s general manager of development services, noted that the 560 Third St. project is across the street from one at 525 Third St. that is also a mix of residential and commercial.

“Together [they are] really going to change that gateway as people move from the sports district down Third Street and into our downtown; so a new gateway to our community,” Lindsay said.

RELATED: 181-unit residential development pitched for Nanaimo’s university district

The 560 Third St. development is on the site of the former Armishaw Farm, and according to a city staff report, it was removed from the city’s heritage register in 2012 and then rezoned and subdivided “to facilitate development of the site.”

The project will include landscape features “to celebrate the site’s heritage significance as a former farm,” including fruit trees, a raised bed for a “kitchen garden” and a proposed plaque highlighting the site’s historical significance.

Council’s only questions were around parking; the development includes 188 parking spaces, 22 of those underground. The development permit included a parking variance granting a shared parking reduction.

“There is an ability to reduce on-site parking where there is shared parking, where there’s blended parking between primarily residential and commercial, with the theory, anyways, that those uses have different peak demands – residential more in the evenings and the mornings, whereas the commercial is more during the day,” said Lindsay. “By doing those blended rates, you don’t tend to oversupply parking on the site.”

The application didn’t propose enough commercial space to qualify for the shared parking reduction, but Lindsay said staff supported the variance because the location is on a major corridor and close to public transit, Vancouver Island University and the downtown.

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