Work expected to begin soon on vacant property downtown

Dave Stewart
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The big hole at the corner of Prince and Grafton streets should start filling up very soon.

The big hole at the corner of Prince and Grafton streets should start filling up very soon.

It's the site of a new apartment/condominium building and has sat completed excavated for the better part of two years.

The developer wants to start as soon as possible but the project may come back to city council for what amounts to a very minor design change with the ramp that leads into the underground parking garage.

The developer does have a permit to start foundation work but is waiting for the city to give the go-ahead on the ramp change.,

In October, council passed a resolution authorizing the public works department to fill the large hole if construction didn't get underway soon.

The area, which is still fenced off, was excavated two years ago. The original developers eventually backed off intentions to build on the site but interest started building again in the last few months with more than one developer looking at the property.

The city has been reluctant to step in and fill the hole because that would be seen as a disincentive to develop a prominent corner in the downtown core. Excavating the property is estimated to cost in the $30,000 to $40,000 area and even if the city ordered the hole filled it would be done at the developer's expense.

The project is slightly behind schedule as the current developer had hoped to lay the foundation in November.

The building is supposed to feature some ground-floor retail space as well as a few floors of apartments or condos.

Coun. Rob Lantz, chairman of the planning and heritage committees, has seen the concept drawings and gave it a thumbs-up.

"It's a nice concept. We worked with the architect with the project to have it designed in accordance with our 500 Lots development standards (and) that was before those standards came into effect,'' Lantz said. "It was nice that they were willing to work with us and come up with a nice result. They did. It's a great project.''

Geographic location: Prince

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Recent comments

  • concern for the less welthy
    December 09, 2013 - 08:35

    I don't understand why all these places are being built for the higher up people when there are much needed places for the less. When are we gunna read that there is more low income places being built for families that really need them. You go now and try to get a place that suits your income and your placed on a list that you could be on for years. I know iv been on that list since my son was born 8 years ago. So maybe us less fortunate could be thought of and something done about that there are plenty of these condos out there already that are pretty much still empty!

    • don
      December 09, 2013 - 12:05

      that is simple. the rich is the ones that puts the government in place. and pays to keep them there by donating the money.

  • don
    December 09, 2013 - 07:22

    What for. well tax's before water. did you not know that money comes long before water the ch'town big shots has showed that many times. and why should the tax payers pay for filling in the hole and not the owner? makes me wonder who is the owner or maybe the owners?

  • pingu
    December 08, 2013 - 21:28

    Tim Banks? You cannot be serious. Which boxstore/parking lot are you talking about? Banks is the King of Sprawl.

  • What for
    December 08, 2013 - 07:16

    Aren't there already a lot of empty apt/condos in Charlottetown? And are we not always hearing about cutting back on water? City council should shake their heads before permitting more to be built. People are leaving PEI, and others are not moving from rural into the city, so who will rent or buy all these apt/condos?

  • John MacDonald
    December 08, 2013 - 06:55

    The Holman Grand, now the defining downtown landmark, looks like an aluminum sided industrial (as cheap as can be built) warehouse, except vertical. It's quality is what one sees on the outskirts of most cities. If this new building is being reviewed to the same standards, the city learned nothing. On this topic, does anyone know if a citizens' group can require the Holman Grand resurface its exterior? Our capital city's image is pathetic due to its looming in-your-face unattended sore thumb. Government approval of projects should consider the benefit of its constituents. Ugly buildings last a long time and leave lasting impressions to visitors while disintegrating community pride. Still in disbelief of Project B approval while elders and the sick in our community go without all the services they need. Can some responsible elected official please take the steering wheel on the PEI clown bus that controls these unaffordable pet projects?

    • Credit where credit is due . . .
      December 08, 2013 - 15:19

      You're absolutely right. On the other hand, look at the amazing job APM/Tim Banks and others have done on a number of buildings in Charlottetown.