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Charlottetown city council has approved on a developer’s request to amend plans for a development behind the Charlottetown Mall.
Kelvin McQuaid, the developer had requested a change in the zoning and development bylaw that authorizes a change in use of the property at 45 Towers Rd.
The intent was to build a 90-bed community care facility with an additional 8,000 square feet of commercial space. Now the developer wants to scratch that and build a 74-unit apartment building instead.
Council voted 6-2 in favour of the requested change. Councillors Bob Doiron and Kevin Ramsay opposed the request while councillors Greg Rivard and Mitchell Tweel did not attend the council meeting.
Doiron said he couldn’t support the request because the developer’s plans have changed more than once.
“This is a little shock to a lot of people," Doiron said.
The original proposal two years ago was for the community care facility.
However, at a recent public meeting before the vote, McQuaid said the relator has indicated there is no interest in purchasing the property to construct a 90-bed community care facility.
Diane McQuaid, representing Kelvin at the public meeting, noted they were unaware of the requirements or offers from government with regards to individuals being accepted in a facility.
“The applicant said the business model with a community care facility just doesn’t work anymore," said Deputy Mayor Jason Coady. “It just doesn’t make business sense to them."
Diane McQuaid, who is also the president of the community care association for the province, said they currently own and manage a 32-bed community care facility and it is at full capacity but a 90-bed facility is not feasible in today’s market. She added their 32-bed facility and other 15- to 20-bed facilities sufficiently meet current demands.
The architect working with the McQuaids told those at the public meeting apartment units are more in demand in the market at this time and even a smaller community care facility would not make sense for his client.
The proposed 74-unit apartment building would be an L-shaped building with a 26-metre by 50-metre dimension. It would also feature green spaces, a landscaped area and a courtyard.
Parking will be at the back and there will be 50 underground parking spaces. The building will be four storeys with underground parking access. The garbage room will also be located inside the building.