Nova Scotia

Major housing development going up in Sydney

A largely undeveloped parcel of prime land in Sydney will soon be transformed into a major residential area.
The Cossitt Heights area in Sydney will soon be turned into a new residential area. (Hal Higgins/CBC)

A largely undeveloped parcel of prime land in Sydney will soon be transformed into a major residential area.

For decades, Cossitt Heights in Ashby has been a lackluster industrial park.

Ashby is a large, mostly residential area in Sydney.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality recently sold the 41 hectare Cossitt Heights property to Jonel Jim Construction. Most of that land isn't developed at all, and is completely covered by trees.

That will soon change in the next three weeks, as Jonel Jim begins putting in a sewer and water system.

Everett Knickle, a company spokesperson, said the project will be done in five phases with a mix of housing units.

"It's going to be the same mix all the way through," he said. "In the first phase, we plan to build apartment buildings, duplexes, some town houses and some single family dwellings, so we're gonna build a little bit of each and cover all the strata of the possible market."

Knickle said it's a major project so it will take time to complete phase one.

"We figure that realistically it'll take us two years to build and sell all the units."

Knickle adds that the type of housing will appeal to a range of ages and income groups. He also said the work and materials are coming from the Sydney area.

Cape Breton Regional Municipality district councillor Ray Paruch is pleased to hear that.

"Employing people locally, all the supplies and the rest of it coming local," Paruch said. "At the end result is: there'll be great housing for local people, and anybody else who wants to come from away."

Everett Knickle said there will be a walking trail on the property that will go around Cossitt Lake.

He said in about ten years time, as part of the final phase, Jonel Jim will build a pedway across the highway so people can walk to the nearby Mayflower Mall.

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