Shannon Park concept plan unveiled at public meeting
If the plan is approved construction could begin in 2019
The preferred concept plan for the redevelopment of the Shannon Park land in Dartmouth includes 17 acres of green or public space. The proposed plan was finally unveiled at a public meeting Wednesday night where it received largely positive reviews.
It includes a new field for passive recreation next to the existing elementary school, a greenway for pedestrians and cyclists that cuts across the 34 hectare site and three spots where the property's history will be commemorated — one in each of the three coves.
"We have the connection of the water's edge into the community," said Chris Millier, director of Real Estate for Canada Lands, which is in charge of the project.
"We have an urban square that will be a focal point for the community."
Impressed with changes
The local councillor is impressed with changes that have been made since three different options were presented last November.
"They really did listen to the public," said Coun. Tony Mancini, who represents District 6, Dartmouth North.
"Overall, I'm very excited about the plan and what it's going to do for this community."
Over 10 to 15 years, up to 3,000 units of housing could be built. There would be a mix of buildings with high-rises located closer to the MacKay Bridge, as well as mid-rise buildings and townhouses.
"It kind of brings a bit of the downtown into the north end," said Chris Pilkey, who lives nearby. "I'm very impressed. It looks very nice."
Other people were concerned about bus routes, a possible ferry terminal, and bike lanes along streets.
"How is a kid going to ride his bike to school? He's not going to go on the trail," said Margo Grant.
"With a brand new street you can do anything you want. You should have protected bike lanes."
Part of the site will be developed by the Millbrook First Nation. Chief Bob Gloade says the band's land will be developed first.
"We don't have to go through the same process with HRM as Canada Lands because basically myself and my council — we're the ones that give the approval," said Gloade.
But Chief Gloade says the Millbrook development will be in keeping with the rest of the project.
"We've identified Clayton Developments early on as a partner ... they know the area, they know HRM."
Trail to be built first
Demolition work on Shannon Park started in February. Canada Lands officials say the property will be developed in four phases.
During the first phase, the waterfront trail will be created and a main road will be constructed to give access to
the Tuft's Cove area.
Between now and September, technical studies will be completed prior to a formal application to Halifax planners.
If the plan is approved, construction is expected to begin in 2019.