A major housing development behind the Charlottetown Mall has been given the green light by city council.
It has taken three years to push it through and was the subject of three public meetings but the McQuaid family received unanimous support from council on its final concept plan on Tuesday night.
"I think everyone in Charlottetown is probably familiar with the property,'' said Coun. Rob Lantz, chair of planning.
For the past few years, the 15-acre property on Mount Edward Road has been the home of the Jack Frost children's winter festival and has also served as the home of the Sherwood Greens practice range and mini-golf.
Over the next few years, the property will be home to — two 32-unit apartment buildings, one 60-unit apartment building, one community care building with a maximum of 90 rooms and 8,000 square feet of commercial space, one 48-unit apartment building, one 24-unit apartment building, 37 townhouse units and 14 semi-detached units.
It's a rather large property, which the city has zoned comprehensive development, meaning council has some control over how it gets developed.
"We require a concept plan right up front,'' Lantz said. "The developer sort of has an eye towards getting a development where people can move from one form of living to another as they age. They might be able to stay on the same property.''
As for the commercial space in the community care building, it appears at the moment like that will be some sort of health-care service, like a pharmacy.
"People in the surrounding communities have been quite supportive and invested in the new housing options that will be available there.''
The concept plan goes right into the development agreement itself as well as the bylaw.
Lantz said the McQuaid family, which includes well-known developer Clifford McQuaid, has done a great job of addressing the city's concerns over the property.
One of those concerns was the number of access roads from the development onto what people refer to as the 'Towers Road', which runs behind the mall onto Mount Edward Road.
"They've reduced the number of access roads onto Towers Road. There will be no way for people to cut through the development as a shortcut to avoid the (traffic) lights on Mount Edward Road. That's a concern because, apparently, people did it in the past . . . gone through the parking lot that exists there now.''
Lantz said the project will be a phased approach, meaning it will likely take a few years before its complete.
Work is expected to begin fairly soon.