Demolition of eight vacant houses going to public meeting

Charlottetown developer wants to build apartment complex

Dave Stewart
Published on January 17, 2016

Lee Gallant walks his dog past two houses on Chesnut Street that could be demolished to make way for the construction of an apartment complex.

©Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

Charlottetown developer, Philip O’Halloran, wants to knock down eight vacant houses that he says are falling down anyway and put up a four-storey apartment building near the city's downtown core.

But the public will have its say first, meaning the eight homes on Chestnut and Passmore Streets likely aren't coming down anytime soon.

City council recently voted unanimously to send the developer’s request to amend the medium density residential zoning for the purpose of putting up the building to a public meeting.

Last month, council gave the green light to allow O’Halloran the right to demolish eight homes on Chestnut and Passmore streets, homes that are said to be in varying stages of disrepair.

The proposed apartment building would include up to 57 units and feature a commercial component on the ground floor, similar to the building O’Halloran erected at the corner of Prince and Grafton Streets.

“Structurally, they are falling in on themselves,’’ O’Halloran said. “Every system, mechanical, electrical, is done.’’

He said they’ve been helping tenants find new housing, either in buildings he owns or elsewhere.

No date has been set for the public meeting. The demolition of the eight homes might not happen this winter.

Councillor Greg Rivard believes O’Halloran is waiting to hear from the public before knocking down the houses.

“I think the developer is waiting for the approval from council before doing any of the demolishing,’’ Rivard said, adding that council needs to see a draft of what the developer has planned for the site and the public needs to have its input before the project can move forward.

Councillor Mitchell Tweel, who represents the area, is enthusiastic about plans to redevelop the area.

Tweel said the process has been unfolding over the past seven to eight months. He and Rivard have met with O'Halloran and were given a tour of the homes, which both councillors have said are in poor condition.

Tweel said O’Halloran’s project will “completely revitalize this particular area."

The homes slated for demolition are located at 51, 57, 59 and 61 Chestnut St. as well as 18, 26-30, 32 and 34 Passmore St.