This sounds promosing
Centretown proposal unveiled
DEVELOPMENT PROJECT: Seniors and shoppers would fill the space in the 72-unit apartment building complex
By RANDY RICHMOND, THE LONDON FREE PRESS
Last Updated: 3rd February 2010, 7:32am
An apartment project is planned for the old home of Centretown Mall. A 72-unit apartment building complex with six street-level stores would rise above a key but long neglected part of Dundas Street under a proposal unveiled Tuesday night.
By next year, seniors and shoppers would fill the space that was once home to the Centretown Mall at 637 Dundas St. between Adelaide and Lyle streets.
"I am a big fan of downtown redevelopment," the property's new owner Jens Stickling said.
"I thought that this was one of the keystones in the turnaround of east London."
The idea of replacing the deteriorating former mall and parking lot with stores and affordable apartment units pleased many people at an open house held at the Old East Business Improvement Area office.
But several people suggested the early designs could be improved.
"I am just hoping everything they do does blend in with the streetscape we have there," said Ken Keane, owner of Centretown Pawnbroker a few buildings west of the site.
"But the concept and basic setup looks good. We are looking forward to having something productive in that area."
A seniors building would be a good addition to the area, said Old East resident Todd Lancaster "It would be nice if the streetscape looked a little better, but it's a nice design. It's a good concept."
The plans call for two buildings on one lot.
One is a nine-storey, 60-unit apartment building fronting on Marshall Street, which runs south of and parallel to Dundas St.
The second is a three-story building fronting Dundas with six commercial units, about 800 square feet each, and 12 apartments.
There would be 57 one-bedroom units, eight two-bedroom units and seven units for disabled residents, said consultant Greg Playford.
The one-bedroom units would rent for $540 a month, and the two-bedrooms for $675 a month.
Residents would have to be 60 years or older to rent.
"There are a lot of seniors who want to stay in the area, and not a lot of good rental opportunities," Playford said. "These units will be modern and safe, with a controlled access."
Stickling has several properties in the core and completed the purchase of the mall's property late last year.
He's hoping city council will approve this spring a zoning change to allow the apartment tower, and allow shovels in the ground by April.
It should take about a year to complete the project, he said.
That would give him time to get the right mix of commercial uses in the Dundas Street complex, such as specialty foods and artists studios, Stickling said.