Nova Scotia

Proposed downtown Dartmouth development to incorporate familiar facade

A proposed development near the Dartmouth Cove area will include a multi-storey building at the site of Moffatt's Pharmacy

A planned multi-storey unit will keep the appearance of Moffatt's Pharmacy

The design for a proposed development project in downtown Dartmouth at the site of Moffatt's Pharmacy (Zwicker Zareski Architecture and Planning)

The appearance of Moffatt's Pharmacy and its iconic "You Ring, We Bring" mural is to be incorporated into an ambitious development proposal.

Canal Capital Investments, owned by Danny Chedrawe, operates the site along Portland Street which borders an area already the focus of redevelopment plans. 

A rendering of the proposed development on the Zwicker Zareski Architecture and Planning website shows two buildings to be erected on the site. 

One is a two-storey brick building with street frontage, similar to the existing pharmacy that dates back to 1924, even including a mural that mirrors what's there now. A seven-storey modern building rises from the back of the structure.

The building next to it, at the corner of Portland Street and Canal Street, is a 12-storey unit.

The architects say the design of the taller building "pays homage to the nearby St. James Church" across the road.

Speaking to CBC News, Sam Austin, the area councillor, said while development is essential, it is important to acknowledge the things that make downtown Dartmouth special.

"So that's the balance," he said. "That's what you have to strike at, and  if Moffatt's is able to stay there ... all the better."

Sam Austin, the councillor for Dartmouth Centre, says it is important to strike a balance between development and maintaining the character of the area (David Laughlin/CBC)

The local councillor said this could be the first project in Dartmouth to be dealt with under the new Centre Plan rules.

"The staff will look and say, 'Does this meet the criteria that council approved in the Centre Plan? 'Yes or no'? And if the answer is yes, then it'll get an approval," he said.

He said there are a number of developers interested in the area behind the Moffatt's project known as Dartmouth Cove.

According to Austin, the municipality has already purchased the land needed to build new roads to serve future developments.

Austin said the roadwork involves extending Dundas Street to Alderney Drive and creating a four-way intersection. A road would then be constructed from the new intersection into Dartmouth Cove. 

He said this new road would become the main entrance to the area.

Moffatt's Pharmacy has been a landmark in downtown Dartmouth since 1924 (David Laughlin/CBC)

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Vernon Ramesar

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Vernon Ramesar is a reporter and video and radio journalist originally based in Trinidad. He now lives in Halifax.

With files from Pam Berman

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