Over 50 people came to hear about a new development planned for the corner of Ochterloney Street and Victoria Road. The reviews were mixed.
The proposed mix-use residential building called Lotus Point would be seven stories in height with 51 residential units and over 3,000 square feet of commercial space.
The building would also have above and underground parking for residents and visitors.
One of the main concerns of residents at the meeting held at the Alderney Gate Library on Aug. 30 was traffic and what 50 new people at this popular intersection could mean. Victoria Road is a one-way street.
"Ochterloney Street is becoming very difficult to navigate and I've had several encounters with parking on both sides of that street, which forced me to dangerously cross the centre line into oncoming traffic to navigate through the area," said a resident who lives on nearby Dundas Street. "The city should seriously consider the parking situation and hazards they may be creating with this development."
He also asked HRM to conduct a wind study in the area to determine if this seven-storey structure would create differentials in the wind patterns nearby.
Beverly Hammond, who also lives on nearby Dundas Street, said the close proximity of several churches would cause a traffic mess on Sundays.
"I have had the benefit and the pleasure of watching the growth of downtown with the success of Founder's Corner, Two If By Sea, and the market," Hammond said. "I have also seen as a result of that success an increase in the lack of parking, increasingly Dundas Street is filling up with cars because there is nowhere for cars to go."
The proposed structure surrounds an existing heritage property, which will remain intact although receive new windows and a fresh coat of paint.
The development application was brought forward by Michael Napier Architecture, which has designed other buildings within HRM, and is currently in the process of retrofitting Fenwick Tower in Halifax.
"This property is a rare opportunity to further strengthen the desires of the MPS (Municipal Planning Strategy) and to create prime residential living opportunities for downtown Dartmouth," Michael Napier said at the meeting.
"This will ensure that the heritage property is preserved over time," Napier said. "We're not going to take this building and raise it up on stilts and build a parkade beneath it, it's going to become a centerpiece for the entrance of the residential development."
One of the proponents of the project was Sherry Spicer, who works for the nearby King's Wharf development.
"The last two years have been particularly progressive years for downtown Dartmouth," Spicer said. "Why wouldn't we all embrace this project with supportive open arms, I think it is wonderful, we need as much as we can in downtown Dartmouth, we've been waiting for it for years."
If the proposal is approved, it could be completed between 16 - 18 months according to the developer.