Back to the drawing board
Developer hopes its redesigned project is more suitable to Bedford residents
By CHRIS LAMBIE Business Editor
Chronicle Herald / Mon. Mar 8 - 4:54 AM
A proposed building that Bedford residents panned has gone through some major design changes.
WM Fares Group is applying for a development agreement on behalf of Louisburg Developments Ltd. to build a three-storey mixed-use building at 827 Bedford Highway. People who attended a public meeting about the project last spring weren’t kind to the proposal.
"But the design was changed because that was the No. 1 complaint from the public, was the actual look of the building," said Andrew Bone, a city planner assigned to the project.
The original design called for metal roofing, and was much more modern in nature than what is now being proposed, Bone said.
"A lot of people said it looked like an aircraft hangar," he said. "It’s like the Bengal Lancers building. I think that’s where they drew the inspiration from. But it didn’t fly in Bedford."
That’s been switched to a pitched roof with dormers and, possibly, a clock tower.
"Compared to the original design, it’s much more in the tradition of what Bedford would find acceptable," Bone said. "I find it architecturally pleasing . . . and I think the community will be happy as well."
The old design called for lots of stucco board.
"Now it’s a mixture of HardiPlank siding, which is more like a traditional clapboard, (and) there’s some stone," he said.
"I think it will meet the Bedford aesthetic."
The proposed project, which would be located next door to the Travelers Motel, includes 700 square metres of commercial retail space, 1,070 square metres of office space and five condominiums.
"The unique thing about the building is on the first level, there’s a breezeway," Bone said. "That’s primarily because they need the parking."
There will also be parking under the proposed project.
"The development agreement is now being drafted," said Cesar Salah, of the WM Fares Group. "And we expect to go to (North West) community council in April or May for a public hearing."