Some big changes to one of HRM's declining retail centres?
Big future for Penhorn site
A makeover of the former Penhorn Mall site in Dartmouth could bring hundreds of new homes and residents to the neighbourhood.
"We could see about 1,200 residential units in a full build-out," planner David Lane said Monday.
The location has the potential to handle 4,000 more people in those residential units, with a minimal increase in vehicular traffic due to an existing Metro Transit terminal, Lane said.
Halifax Regional Municipality has initiated a review of existing land-use controls to enable mixed-use redevelopment of the 17-hectare property owned by Crombie REIT, the real estate arm of Stellarton-based Empire Group, which owns Sobeys.
The site lost some lustre as a retail destination after Walmart Canada pulled up stakes and relocated to Dartmouth Crossing about five years ago.
The old Penhorn Mall, built in the 1970s, was recently demolished and the land is ready for redevelopment.
There is a new and enlarged Sobeys at the site, as well as a mini-mall with an assortment of commercial tenants. A Sears department store and a GoodLife Fitness centre are also located on the property.
There is a possibility of a complete redevelopment of the entire site or at least the eight-hectare piece on the back end of the Portland Street property.
"The Dartmouth Community Plan, as it is, allows for only a mall at this location," Lane said. "We’re looking at an amendment that will allow for a mix of uses, including offices, apartment and condominiums."
The change to mixed-use would be more in keeping with the designation of the property as one of 55 growth centres in the municipality’s development plan, implemented in 2006.
There is a desire for a transit-oriented and pedestrian-friendly development that will be integrated and compatible with the surrounding community, said Lane.
An existing Metro Transit terminal near Portland Street adds to the appeal of the area as a growth centre, although a park ’n’ ride with parking for 60 cars was recently removed by the property owner.
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