Nova Scotia

Developer wants to switch up King's Wharf

A developer in Dartmouth says the current business climate means he needs to make changes to his waterfront project.

Developer Francis Fares had an agreement with HRM to build office space next

A developer in Dartmouth says the weak office market means he needs to make changes to his waterfront project. 

The first two buildings of the King's wharf complex are well underway.  They're both residential and the units are more than 90 per cent sold.
The King's Wharf development is scheduled to build office space next. (CBC)

Penthouses in the condominium building sold for about $700,000 each, developer Francis Fares told CBC News in August. He believes he can get an even higher price on the next ones.

The three-year-old development agreement with the city says one of the next two buildings will be for office space. 

But Fares wants to change those plans because he says the market for office space is just too soft. 

"We didn't want to go on speculation and build an office building in this market condition when we know if we build a condo now we could sell it," Fares told CBC News.

In downtown Halifax, another developer wants to build an office tower as part of the new convention centre project.

Construction is delayed at the Nova Centre development while Rank Inc. tries to secure tenants.

But Fares said given the current market, other projects may have to make changes.

"To be able to survive you have to be able to adapt, and adjust and navigate with what the consumer wants and with what the market wants. I'm sure they are looking at the situation now as we speak and [are] assessing," Fares said.

"Maybe that's why you see the delay in making the decision."  

Fares said he plans to put more office space in the future stages of his complex.
The Nova Centre development is on hold while the developer tries to secure tenants. (CBC)

"Down the road, when the office market is better, we can switch components of one of the buildings to be an office building, because we like the mixture."

The overall King's Wharf project involves 12 buildings over the next ten years.  

 An HRM staff report recommends they be approved.