By Wendy Elliott
An Antigonish developer wants to construct a large commercial/residential building across from St. Andrew’s United Church in Wolfville.
If approved by both the community development committee and town council, the existing building on the property will be demolished.
A new three-story building would be constructed to cover nearly 100 per cent of the lot. It will feature 71 small loft-style apartments, according to the plans of Micro Boutique Living Wolfville Incorporated.
The community development committee, which is now chaired by Coun. Mercedes Brian, meets Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. in town hall.
Indications are the building could be utilized as a hotel during the summer months. An underground parking garage for 32 vehicles would be included in the project, along with a green roof area.
The town requested Robert LeBlanc, president of Ekistics Planning and Design, review the project. He indicated that the proposed mixed use development meets the general intent of the architectural guidelines.
“It is not a generic, off-the-shelf building, it is not a false replication of a historic style,” LeBlanc said. “It uses authentic materials in a modern way, it enhances the character and scale of the existing area, it reinforces the streetscape, it respects diversity, and it demonstrates visual empathy to its neighbours.”
Stephen Drahos, who lives across the street in a single-family home, is against the development. In a letter to the committee, he stated, “We feel strongly that off campus dorms located downtown next to the bars without the inherent controls that university officials can impose on issues such as late night partying, drinking and parking can only lead to further problems in these areas, all out of the control of the town.”
Iris Hutton, who owns the building at 344 Main Street, has registered her objections to the proposed density and potential for noise related the project.
The town does have some concerns about the potential for flooding in the underground parking area. The staff report, which approves the project, does indicate that the population density per acre would be high in the Wolfville context.
The existing building was once the town’s Home Hardware outlet. It was a gas station until 1975.