Nova Scotia

Halifax-based developer hopes to have design for Bloomfield site this year

Banc Invesments was given the OK to buy the long-vacant Bloomfield site on Sept. 1, but the property deed was only recently transferred on Jan. 25. Alex Halef, who heads up the Halifax-based company, told CBC News he's unsure when construction will begin at the Agricola Street site.

Council approved the sale of the Bloomfield site to Banc Investments on Sept. 1

The sale of the 1.3-hectare lot was approved last year. (CBC)

A former school in north-end Halifax has been officially sold to a local developer, months after regional council approved the transaction.

Banc Invesments was given the OK to buy the long-vacant Bloomfield site on Sept. 1, but the property deed was only recently transferred on Jan. 25.

Alex Halef, who heads up the Halifax-based development company, told CBC News he's unsure when construction will begin at the Agricola Street site.

"It will be governed by how long it takes to get to a design that we're satisfied with," said Halef. "I would speculate and tell you we'll have a design at some point this year without question."

Three buildings on the Bloomfield property have been vacant since 2014. Halifax has had a master plan for the site since 2007, which was developed in part with Imagine Bloomfield, a citizens group.

Susanna Fuller of Imagine Bloomfield said she's concerned about the future of a historic building on the site.

"One of the things that was in the plan was to restore the Fielding building as a community centre," she said. "I'm a little worried about how HRM is going to make the provisions of the master plan binding."

Three buildings on the Bloomfield property have been vacant since 2014. (CBC)

In an email to CBC News, HRM spokesperson Klara Needler said "conditions of affordable housing, open space and cultural and community space are all in place."

Halef agreed, but added he's not sure the community centre will be part of the Fielding building.

"What we do with the heritage buildings, I haven't decided yet," said Halef. "There's no requirement to maintain them, but if there's a way to work with the city that makes sense, then we may look at that."

Banc Investments has not yet made a decision about what to do with the heritage buildings. (CBC)

The local councillor for the area, Lindell Smith, said there will be public consultation on the developer's proposal.

Halef pointed out those consultations will focus on the look of the development because the density is determined by the municipality's Centre Plan, which regulates development.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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