The City of Nanaimo is getting a first look at a proposal for a six-storey apartment building at the corner of Campbell and Wallace streets downtown.
The city’s design advisory panel reviewed an application for 340 Campbell St. at a meeting last week.
Donald Yen, project architect, told the panel that the building will consist of 163 market-rental units, “all designed to encourage living and working in the downtown core as an urban experience.”
The proposal is for 15 “live-work units” at street level, plus 32 studio suites, 70 one-bedroom apartments, 38 two-bedroom apartments and eight three-bedroom apartments.
The building would include two levels of underground parking and would be U-shaped to allow for a private courtyard at the back of the building.
The applicant, Urban Solutions Architecture Ltd., on behalf of owner 340 Campbell Holdings Ltd., is asking for three variances: a height variance from 14 metres to 18.8m, a setback variance of 1.5m for an accessory building and a small-car-space parking variance from 40 spaces to 64 spaces.
City staff noted that although the height variance would be required under zoning, the building’s height would conform with guidelines in the city’s downtown urban design plan.
The city’s design panel supported the requested variances but had a handful of recommendations including improved accessibility for the live-work units, increased planting along the laneway and upgraded fence materials.
Coun. Tyler Brown, city council’s representative on the design panel, mentioned that he appreciated the three-bedroom units, as they’re needed in the city, and said the proposal is shaping up as a “great project.”
“All in all, really happy to see this project move along,” Brown said. “Between this and the Telus building up on Wallace, you’re starting to see the development of a streetscape that is very active and live and bring people downtown and having them live downtown.”
The development permit application is expected to come before city council at a later date.