Sudbury city councillors will be asked Monday night to approve a plan that will see an old school converted into apartments — but not before first hearing from neighbours concerned about increased traffic and dropping property values.
Developer Seeley Homes hopes to put 29 apartments into the old Jessie Hamilton Public School in Lively, as well as build a few houses and another 26-unit building on the property.
It will be in the same area as the home of Bryson Gray, who moved to the area more than 20 years ago.
He said he liked the nice big lots, the school nearby, and the "relatively good neighbourhood [where] people on lower incomes cannot afford to buy houses ...."
Gray and other residents who have worries about the proposed development were expected to approach city council with their concerns on Monday night.
'Benefit the community'
A spokesperson with the Sudbury and District Homebuilders Association, Laura Higgs, said she doesn't believe neighbourhoods are as threatened as residents claim.
"Here's the thing: would you rather have an abandoned, derelict building down the street from your house or would you rather have it used in a way that has ongoing maintenance? I don't want to see empty buildings sitting there, eventually rocks thrown through the windows or what have you," she said.
"I want to see them used to benefit the community."
She noted that, with all levels of government looking to save money by selling buildings, housing developers are seeing opportunity, particularly considering the demand for apartments in the city.
In the coming weeks, Sudbury city councillors will also consider a plan to turn the former St. Denis School on Regent Street into condominiums.