Nfld. & Labrador

New condo, office proposal includes heritage building near downtown war memorial

Roebothan McKay Marshall Accident and Injury Law has applied to have a heritage building neighbouring the downtown St. John's war memorial rezoned for the purpose of a mixed-use building.

Will include museum dedicated to war memorial

The Roebothan McKay Marshall law firm has proposed a rezoning and development of a new condominium, retail, office and museum space near the war memorial in downtown St. John's. (City of St. John's/Fougere Menchenton Architecture)

A St. John's law firm has applied to have a heritage building neighbouring the downtown war memorial rezoned as a mixed-use building. 

Roebothan McKay Marshall Accident and Injury Law has sent a proposal to the city, which will be considered by the city's committee of the whole, to redevelop and include the use of the former Breakwater Books facade at 100 Water St. 

The proposal outlines a six-storey building with three levels of parking below ground.

The first floor will be dedicated to offices and retail space, a museum dedicated to the war memorial, two levels of office space and three levels of condominiums at the top, which will fit 18 units total.  

This is how the proposed development area looked in 1924. (City of St. John's/Fougere Menchenton Architecture)
The building will be situated on Water and Duckworth streets if approved. (City of St. John's/Fougere Menchenton Architecture)

However the City of St. John's has stringent regulations on heritage-approved buildings, which include needing approval from the city before making any renovations to the appearance of or building an addition to a heritage building.  

While the proposal is focused on using the former Breakwater Books building, Roebothan McKay Marshall is looking to add additional levels above, made of almost completely glass and adding a structure near the war memorial where a vacant lot currently exists to tie the entire building together. 

The proposal argues that the building was originally zoned as mixed-use beginning in 1894. 

"Since the original occupants both worked and lived in this building it was designed to serve this dual purpose, having the shop located on the ground level and residential space on the upper levels," reads the proposal. 

"Therefore, historically this site has always been a mixed-use site."

Coun. Maggie Burton, who represents the city on planning and development and heritage, was unavailable for a comment on the proposal.

The vacant lot near the downtown war memorial will be used in connection with the historic Breakwater Books building to the west. (Alex Kennedy/CBC)

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