Armco Capital donates Willow Tree Tower floor to IWK
Armco says the space will work like Ronald McDonald House
The IWK Health Centre says it's humbled by a potential donation from a Halifax development company.
Armco Capital says it will donate an entire floor of its proposed 29-storey Willow Tree Tower, located on the corner of Robie Street and Quinpool Road, to the hospital.
The plan is to create a floor that offers a similar service to Ronald McDonald House.
"You'll have an area where people coming two to three nights a week have a place to stay with a kitchen and a living room, a couple of small bedrooms, but then there will also be a suites for a longer term stay," said Adam McLean, director of development and sales with Armco Capital.
McLean says last year, the company's chairman George Armoyan spent a significant amount of time in the hospital as his father was dying. While there, he noticed there were a lot of people who slept at the hospital while their loved ones received care.
The location is just down the street from the hospital, which specializes in pediatric and women's care.
But the tower needs to be approved before the donation can go ahead. So far the development is controversial. Critics have said in the past the 29-storey height is too tall for the neighbourhood.
Peggy Cameron has been to several public meetings about the development. She's affiliated with the Friends of the Halifax Common group and The Willow Tree Group — vocal opponents of the project as it is proposed.
"What we really have to consider is that the Armco proposal is so in excess of what would be allowed at that corner. There's nothing to really negotiate," said Cameron.
Meanwhile, Armco says plans to donate a floor to the IWK have been in the works for some time.
"You know, to people who say this may be some kind of posturing with HRM — I mean, if this helps our application, that's great — but regardless if it does or not, it's still going to be a great benefit to the IWK and for the families who have loved ones in the hospital," said McLean.