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

Proposed highrise in downtown Nanaimo passes first two readings for rezoning

Public hearing scheduled for Sept. 6

A proposed highrise building in downtown Nanaimo took two more steps in the approval process.

On Monday, Nanaimo city councillors unanimously approved first and second readings of a rezoning amendment for the proposed 24-storey mixed-use building at 65 and 77 Chapel Street. The developers requested increasing the floor area ratio and increasing the maximum building height from 19.8 metres to 78.5 metres.

The Wertman Development Corporation’s Marcielo building would be constructed on a five-storey podium and come with 109 residential condo units, five townhouse units as well as ground-floor commercial units and office space. There would also be a two-floor athletic club, 167 underground parking stalls, a public plaza with artwork and trees located where Skinner and Chapel streets meet. As required by the city, the developers are contributing $72,200 towards the Maffeo Sutton Park improvement fund, $72,200 towards the city’s affordable housing fund. They will also be spending $38,000 on public art for the property.

During Monday’s meeting, Lainya Rowett, the city’s manager of current planning and subdivision, told councillors the proposed development is located within the “civic heart of Nanaimo.” She said the proposed development will not have a negative impact on view corridors and meets the intent of the Chapel-Front character area, citing a 2002 downtown Nanaimo planning document.

“This is obviously inline with the growth strategy for infill development in the downtown core, which is close to services, amenities, transit,” she said. “It’s located within the Chapel-Front highrise zone in the neighbourhood plan and is outside of the major public view corridors.”

RELATED: Proposed highrise in downtown Nanaimo moves to rezoning process

RELATED: Developer wants to build highrise in downtown Nanaimo

Should the proposed highrise come to fruition, it would be a real benefit to downtown, said Coun. Ian Thorpe, telling councillors he had no issue with the building but is concerned that it would eliminate two parking structures in an area where parking is limited.

“My concern is not for the parking for the tenants, but will we be losing too much public parking? Because I have a personal suspicion that are downtown parking is becoming very, very limited,” Thorpe said.

Dale Lindsay, the city’s director of community development, said the removal of the parkades will put additional “pressure” on the parkades downtown. He said at some point the city may have no choice but to look at expanding its existing parking structures.

“This might be a trigger for that,” he said.

The amount of money earmarked toward public art as part of the developer’s community contribution concerned Hong, who said he’d like to see that money allocated towards the city’s affordable housing fund instead.

“I’d like to have a nice buffer for the housing legacy reserve fund, so we can actually have money to make a dent in the issues of affordable housing,” Hong said.

Meanwhile, Coun. Diane Brennan said she really likes the project because it is in an “area of town that has been waiting for this kind of development” and felt the $38,000 allocated for public art was acceptable.

“We want to be a little city that thinks big and acts big and public art is a really important part of that,” Brennan said.

A public hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Shaw Auditorium.

Nanaimo Downtown Plan by Nanaimo News Bulletin on Scribd


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

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

Nanaimo cat with a disability can still teach foster kittens ‘how to cat’

Life goes from sour to sweet for Lemon, an adopted cat from B.C. SPCA Nanaimo

Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

Extinction Rebellion organized rally at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday afternoon

Nanaimo River Road ‘hotspot’ for theft from vehicles, says RCMP

Over dozen reports of theft in past month, say Nanaimo RCMP, many victims were headed to backcountry

Neighbours try to clean up around nuisance drug house on Milton Street in Nanaimo

560 Milton St. was declared a nuisance property last month

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Supportive housing plan unbalanced

Letter writer worries crime and social disorder will increase from Newcastle area to south end

Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

Extinction Rebellion organized rally at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday afternoon

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Drive-in movie screenings next week will benefit Nanaimo food bank

Fortis B.C. and Fresh Air Cinema holding fundraisers at Woodgrove Centre

Nanaimo RCMP’s space needs prompt city to assess its properties in that area

Council approves $120,000 to develop real estate strategy for ‘civic precinct’ in the Old City Quarter

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Island Health warning of spike in overdoses in Nanaimo area

Substance users advised to visit overdose prevention site on Wesley Street in Nanaimo

Most Read