Posted: May 8, 2012, 3:40 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Halifax-Nova Scotia
Cunard Block tender coming
May 7, 2012 - 8:24pm By REMO ZACCAGNA Business Reporter
The Cunard Block development project on the Halifax waterfront will be up for tender in the next few weeks.
Provincial Crown agency Waterfront Development Corp. Ltd. president Colin MacLean said they’re seeking a private partner for the multimillion-dollar project, and that the tender process will be launched by the end of June or early July.
At that point, developers will be able to make their pitch for a long-term lease on the land, worth about $8 million.
“We’re pretty excited about that,” he said in a telephone interview Monday.
The corporation wants to see a mixed-use development built on the property, located on Lower Water Street north of the new Nova Scotia Power headquarters by Marginal Road, that could include an 18-storey apartment tower housing anywhere from 250 to 300 units.
The project would incorporate public spaces and have anywhere from 20,000 and 40,000 square feet of commercial space.
“It’s a great opportunity to add some density for people living in the downtown core, so that will be the primary focus,” he said. “And as always, what we want to do is use it as an opportunity to create some great public spaces along the waterfront as well.”
Two conceptual designs for the property, worked on by Lydon Lynch Architects of Halifax, were unveiled last June, when the provincial Crown corporation invited public feedback.
The Crown corporation then brought in a new team of experts, led by Michael Napier Architecture and Ekistics Planning & Design, to work on a design that will be used in the tender process.
The group is now “fine-tuning” that design , which should be completed in the next few weeks, and will ensure that “when we go to market, we’re presenting something to developers that is both buildable and gives them something to improve upon.”
MacLean said it’s too early to determine the capital costs for the project, but that they’re counting on their private partner to “really hone in on making this absolutely economically feasible.”
The final design may incorporate some aspects of the two initial conceptual designs but the developer will have some say on the last iteration.
“Right now we’d know what would be possible to build, and we’re doing enough work with the architects and engineers to get a sense of some of the costs, but ultimately that’s what we’ll hand to the developer and together they’ll bring their expertise to say ‘what exactly will this cost and what will the market bear.' ”
Construction is expected to begin in 2013.