The City of Nanaimo got a look at new development plans for a property on Third Street.
Ironclad Developments submitted a development permit application to build two apartment buildings at 525 Third St., and the city’s design advisory panel, at a meeting Thursday, July 28, recommended the application proceed.
The property was re-zoned in 2017 and at the time, the applicant’s plans were townhouses and low-rise mixed-use buildings in Phases 1 and 2 and a 218-bed student housing complex in Phase 3, as well as future phases.
Now, with Phases 1 and 2 complete, a new development permit application for Phase 3 proposes two six-storey rental buildings totalling 171 units on portions of the property where student housing and townhouses had previously been envisioned.
Ironclad Developments, in its application, noted that the complex would provide “much-needed housing” in a central location and would be compatible with the Harewood Neighbourhood Plan.
“The proposal meets the intent of these design guidelines by facilitating a compact, higher-density multi-family development that promotes sustainable living as well as positive transitions to nearby uses through building design and landscaping,” noted urban planner Gavin Williamson in the application.
Once completed, the complex would have its frontage on Watfield Avenue and vehicle access from a lane between Hillcrest Avenue and Watfield. The building closest to Watfield would be L-shaped and would contain 104 units; the other building, notably, would be situated at a 45-degree angle to surrounding streets.
“That was a discussion that we had with staff and came to an agreement that if we followed that [property] line, it would make use of the site quite well and also sort of minimize impacts on the single-family homes to the south,” said Marshall Kirton, vice-president of design and architecture at Ironclad.
The proposed composition of the 171 units includes 61 one-bedroom apartments, 67 two-bedroom, 21 three-bedroom and 22 studio suites. All units would have either a balcony or a patio.
No variances are being sought at this stage. All required parking would be provided, including 172 underground parking stalls, and 44 surface parking spaces.
The design advisory panel made half a dozen recommendations, including more trees and other planting on the property, and consideration for stepping down the height of one corner of the smaller building.
Coun. Tyler Brown, city council’s representative on the panel, complimented the project’s “really attractive architecture.”