The old Dalby’s Automotive shop at 201 Dogwood Drive may one day be the site of Ladysmith’s first six-storey apartment building.
Frank and Mike Crucil of F&M Installations and FMC Holdings purchased the long-vacant property about a year ago with the intent of developing an apartment building. They held their first community information meeting on the project proposal Wednesday, July 15, to get feedback from the community.
“We’re applying for a rezoning on the property to ask council, and ask the community, if they approve a six-storey building,” said property agent Toby Seward of Seward Developments Inc. “We’re not there yet at all, we’re just at the rezoning process. Our goal is to get approval to build the building, then we’ll delve into what the building looks like in more detail.”
If they are successful in obtaining rezoning for the property and an amendment to Ladysmith’s official community plan, FMC intends to construct a six-storey apartment building for residents 55 years of age and older. Seward said they estimate a total of 30 units, each around 800-900 square feet. The units would be market rate housing. The building would also feature a commercial retail unit on the ground floor.
Part of the construction will include remediation of historical contamination at the Dalby’s site. Several studies conducted by the Town of Ladysmith have shown hydrocarbon contamination in the soil beneath Dalby’s – including some contaminants that have migrated toward Forward Road. FMC is financing a study with Terra West Environmental to determine the level of contaminants in the soil, and where they may be present today.
“The goal of the owners is to clean up the site, put a new building in, and really get a well-designed building here that suits the community, and is a good long-term asset for seniors’ rental,” Seward said.
One of the measures proposed to address the contaminants is putting in underground parking. Seward said that digging out a level of underground parking would remove a good portion of contaminated soil. Two levels of parking – one underground, one above ground – would be featured in the building.
There will be another public information meeting at 4 p.m. on July 29 before the formal rezoning application process begins. A public hearing will also be held as part of the town’s rezoning process.