Nova Scotia

Development will ruin Halifax Central Library's view, group says

A group wants the city to stop Westwood Developments from going forward with its proposal to build a seven-storey building they would block the view from the library's fifth floor.

Protesters want the city to stop a proposed 7-storey development in front of library

A Dalhousie University architecture professor created this rendering to illustrate how the proposal will impact the library's view (Facebook)

A small group of people protested the proposed development across from the Halifax Central Library Saturday by handing out flyers depicting how the view might change. 

The group, including developer Andrew Murphy, wants the city to stop Westwood Developments from going forward with its proposal to build a seven-storey building it says would block the view from the library's fifth floor. 

"When they did the zoning on that property across the street, they didn't consider that they were just about to put up $60 million across the street of investment. And they didn't tweak the allowability," said Murphy. "So it's a $60-million mistake."

The fifth floor of the Halifax Central Library offers a clear view of Citadel Hill (Facebook)

Worries library will lose 'wow factor'

The building formerly housed Tom's Little Havana, Rogues Roost and the Bank of Montreal. The new building proposed for the site would include retail, hotel, residential space, landscaped courtyards and parking on Spring Garden Road.

"Last year 1.9 million visitors visited the library," said Murphy. "That's over 5,000 a day. And I think a lot of them get up to the top and they just say wow, what a great view."

Andrew Murphy says the public should know about how the proposed development would impact the library's view (CBC News )

Murphy said he's worried the library will lose the "wow factor."

The Halifax Central Library's fifth floor currently offers views of the city's east end, including the harbour, the downtown, and Citadel Hill to the north.

Murphy said, as a developer himself, he isn't against development, but believes the public should know about the proposal and its impact. 

"A professor from the architecture school next door did a computerized rendering of what that building's going to look like and how it will affect the view. And we just want to make people aware," said Murphy. 

Combination of condos, hotel rooms planned

The new development would include retail space at the street level and a combination of 40 hotel rooms and 80 condo units for the rest of the levels. 

In a previous interview, Westwood Developments president Danny Chedrawe told CBC News the development was inspired by the library. 

"I was inspired by the patio on fifth floor of the library. I want to recreate that view," Chedrawe said.

Westwood Developments proposal is up for approval next month. 

This is a detail of a conceptual drawing showing the proposed seven-storey complex on Spring Garden Road. (Westwood Developments)


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