Sometimes community groups or neighbours successfully kill a project. One prominent developer told me at a Champagne Avenue area meeting that if they succeed in killing a project, it only goes away to come back bigger. Because the next proponent has to cover his own costs and (now higher) risks, plus pay to buy the land which now included the cost of the rejected development plans and the original proponent’s time.
This is playing out today at the corner of Scott / Lanark / West Village Private. The lot is supposed to be a parking facility for a nearby Buddhist temple, but I’ve never seen anyone park there.
West Village townhouses are to the left, that’s a electrical power station in the red brick building, and the Metropole is across the street off Lanark.
A number of years ago, in 2010, a developer proposed a six storey apartment of conventional styling, with resident parking:
The neighbours raised hell, screaming of traffic jams and possible perverts living there just to peer into their bedroom windows a half block away.
A particular sore point was the “store”, which was the city’s term and there at the city’s insistence (the developer didn’t want it).
It was actually commercial space, since Scott from this point west is a traditional main street and the city wanted active sidewalk frontages. (A low rise condo apartment a few blocks west of here squeaked in under the old rules, and was built with a front lawn, side yard, and no commercial space. It will still blend in nicely as the street develops).
The project died at the Committee of Adjustment, victim of a hundred little cuts. It lay fallow since, the land changed hands, and now a new proposal comes forward.
As our Voice of Experience predicted, it’s back, bigger than ever, now 12 stories, with 70 units:
It looks to be mostly small units, very little parking. I dunno if there will be commercial space.
The exterior bears a certain similarity to his previous project on Perkins:
The neighbours will no doubt oppose this. But the city is now more insistent on having intensification near transit stations (Westboro transit station is a short bit west of the Scott Street site).
And the City is (justifiably) more confident that they can turn automotive strip streets like Scott west of Lanark, the epitome of crass ugliness, into a walkable traditional main street if new developments are built to the sidewalk and have active ground floor uses.
I will be interested to know how wide a sidewalk the city will require … it should be very generously wide, maybe 6m, to encourage walk-in traffic to the new LRT station.
I note the Councillor is already semi on-board, at least liking the height better than the 22 stories proposed at the corners of McRae and Scott.
I don’t think there will be any change in the oppositional arguments from 2010, but there is probably a much more intensification-receptive council.
For a neat sense of deja vu all over again, you can find the original story and issues from here: http://www.westsideaction.com/1946-scott-street-condo/
Will the Voice of Experience be proved right?