A proposed development at 77 Chapel Street (de Hoog & Kierulf Architects)

Proposed highrise in downtown Nanaimo moves to rezoning process

Height increase to 78.5 metres will be requested at 77 Chapel St.

A proposed condominium is one step closer to becoming a part of Nanaimo’s skyline.

A 24-storey tower at 77 Chapel St. in downtown Nanaimo has received support at the committee level and a rezoning application will go before city council.

Wertman Development Corporation’s Marcielo building, designed by de Hoog & Kierulf Architects, would be constructed on a five-storey podium and come complete with 109 residential units. There would also be ground-floor commercial units, office space, five townhouse units, a two-floor athletic club, 167 underground parking stalls and a public plaza with artwork and trees located where Skinner and Chapel streets meet.

As part of the proposal, Wertman Development Corp. has submitted a rezoning application, requesting an increase to the maximum building height from 19.8 metres to 78.5 metres as well as a slight increase in floor area ratio.

Coun. Diane Brennan told the News Bulletin the city’s community planning and development committee recommended Tuesday evening that the rezoning application go before council. Brennan, who chairs the committee, said members described the building’s design as “elegant” and were happy the proposal didn’t just include towers, but other amenities, such as the plaza and athletic club.

“We’ve known and we’ve had reports that tell us that we need about another 5,000 doors downtown to really make a difference in the vibrancy and liveability of our downtown area,” Brennan said. “So, this building would be a really good addition.”

The committee did debate about the appropriate height for the building, said Brennan.

“The question doesn’t become, will you put a high-rise here? It is what is the height you’re going to allow,” she said. “There was a little bit of a difference of opinion about how high, but in the end the committee’s recommendation was to proceed.”

One question from committee members was whether development could include a walkway linking Chapel and Skinner streets, according to Brennan, who said they were told by the architects that it wouldn’t be feasible given the difference in elevation between the two streets.

“They said it would be very expensive to do and weren’t sure it would be the best use because you’d have to have steps going through,” she said. “So the committee acknowledged that the architect’s opinion was probably the right one.”

Dale Lindsay, the city’s director of community development, said following the support from the committee, staff will be putting together a report on the property and eventually bringing forward a rezoning amendment bylaw for council’s approval, adding that a date has not been determined at this time.

“At that time we would introduce a zoning amendment bylaw and if it was supported by council, we would proceed to public hearing,” he said.

Lindsay said should the rezoning application be successful, the development would then head to the city’s design advisory panel, which would examine the form and character of the building.


Like us on Facebook or follow Nicholas Pescod on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crimson Coast Dance Society salutes African dance during Black History Month

Dancers from Mozambique, Rwanda and Cameroon to give demonstrations and lessons

Nanaimo Clippers, clad in Snuneymuxw jerseys, win in OT

BCHL team wins both its weekend games to stay in contention for first place on the Island

Nanaimo-bound ferry breaks down, but another available for service

Two sailings cancelled Sunday on Tsawwassen-Duke Point route

Air Canada will offer direct Nanaimo-to-Toronto flights again this year

Seasonal service will run from June until October

Nanaimo a capital city in the beard business – Wildman Beard Co.

Wildman Beard Co. gained early success with Nanaimo mill workers

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Woodlands proposed to house students during Cilaire seismic upgrades

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ plan awaits ministry of education approval

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Most Read