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Charlottetown's design review board approves change in contentious apartment project

Construction of a 23-micro-unit apartment building is underway at 55 Richmond St. in Charlottetown, next to the Rochford Condominiums at 41 Richmond St.
Construction of a 23-micro-unit apartment building is underway at 55 Richmond St. in Charlottetown, next to the Rochford Condominiums at 41 Richmond St. - Dave Stewart
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

APM Group has addressed one of the issues that has been a point of contention for the past three years at its development at 55 Richmond St. in Charlottetown.

The original proposal for the four-storey, 23-micro-unit building called for balconies on the side closest to the Rochford Condominiums, which are located at 41 Richmond St. The two structures are very close together and balconies would have made it moreso.

However, Charlottetown’s design review board recently approved a change in the building’s design that removes the balconies in question.

“Neither side has any balconies now," Greg Morrison, a planner with the city, told the design review board, referring to the 23-unit building. “That’s not something (planning) staff made them do; it was their own proposal. Plans changed internally (at APM)."

This is an artist rendering of the four-storey, 23-micro-unit apartment building at 55 Richmond St. in Charlottetown. - Contributed
This is an artist rendering of the four-storey, 23-micro-unit apartment building at 55 Richmond St. in Charlottetown. - Contributed

 

Council had originally approved the project in 2017. But, a residents’ group at Rochford Condominiums appealed the decision to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, which eventually gave the APM project the green light.

Earlier this year, Tim Banks, CEO of APM Group, said the initial $4.7-million price tag for their project was going to surpass the $5-million mark due to all of the delays, and the cost increase was going to be passed on to the tenants.

Morrison said there are some additional minor changes to the project. 

The original proposal called for some wood siding on the exterior. Now, the entire exterior will be metal siding, telling the board that it was “the only perceived negative change". Still, metal siding is a permitted use in the 500 Lot area.

“There is a long history on this property, but the balconies were always a point of contention. You’ll see the balconies have been removed in their entirety," Morrison told the board.

Dave Stewart is the municipal reporter for The Guardian.

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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