Nova Scotia

Residents get first look at Rockingham development

Dozens of Halifax residents got their first look Wednesday night at a new community to be built where the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse once stood.
The community, which has not yet been named, will accommodate nearly 4,000 residents on about 25 hectares of land. (CBC)

Dozens of Halifax residents got their first look Wednesday night at a new community to be built where the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse once stood.

The sale of the Rockingham property was finalized in November, from the congregation to Southwest Properties Ltd.

Gordon Laing, the president and CEO of Southwest Properties, said the new, unnamed community near Mount Saint Vincent University will include homes, condominiums and townhouses.

"Very positive feedback, we actually could have even sold some lots today," Laing said after Wednesday's information session.

About 90 people attended the meeting to hear about how the mixed-use development will accommodate nearly 4,000 residents on about 25 hectares of land.

Southwest Properties, which still needs approval from Halifax regional council for the project, has said construction on the $500-million complex won't begin for at least another two years.

Laing said the main concern brought up at the information session is the potential for increased traffic on roads — such as the Bedford Highway — that already see high traffic volumes.

"We're a kilometre from the peninsula, five kilometres from the shipyards, so we see ourselves as somewhat of a solution to the traffic problem," he said.

"Instead of people coming from far away, 10 or 12 kilometres and stuck in traffic for long periods of time, they'll be able to enter the Bedford Highway basically where it turns into four lanes and get downtown in the reasonable period of time."

Daniel Maillet, who lives below the proposed development, said he's worried about water run-off. It's been an issue in the area since Hurricane Juan took out many of the trees in the area, he said, and more will likely be cut down if the proposed development goes ahead.

"We've noticed maybe over the five, six or seven years that more water comes down our properties," said Maillet.

Laing said the development will include underground pipes to deal with any run-off issues. There are also plans to make it a green community, with energy efficient buildings, trees and park space.