Nova Scotia

Demolition for Spring Garden hotel, retail shops could be in January

The president of Westwood Developments plans to start demolishing the existing buildings on Spring Garden Road in Halifax by early January.

The city's design review committee is considering Westwood Developments Ltd.'s proposal

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

Westwood Developments plans to demolish existing buildings near Halifax's Spring Garden Road by early January, as it waits for city approval of its development plan in February.

The developer hopes to construct a seven-storey building that would include retail, hotel, residential space, landscaped courtyards and parking.

All the tenants, including Tom's Little Havana, Rogues Roost and the Bank of Montreal, have vacated the buildings scheduled for demolition, company president Danny Chedrawe said Thursday.

The project's developer says that tenants in the proposed buildings have vacated. (Pam Berman/CBC)

And the company already has a demolition permit, he said.  

"We feel this site is a very important site, not just for our company, but for the public," Chedrawe said. 

Preliminary plans for the new development along Spring Garden were presented to the city's design review committee Thursday afternoon.

The committee will approve the final points in February, which must be done before Westwood can build.

7-storey development would fill city block

The seven-storey building proposed by Westwood is on the block bounded by Spring Garden, Doyle, Queen and Brunswick Streets. It's right across from the new Halifax Central Library.

Chedrawe wanted to preserve the former Bank of Montreal building at Spring Garden and Queen, but it was economically unfeasible, he said.

"We could have incorporated it into a new development if we were able to put more height on that site," Chedrawe said.

"But since the view planes put such tremendous restrictions, we didn't have that flexibility."

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. 

Design 'inspired' by Halifax Central Library

There are also plans for two landscaped courtyards — one on the Spring Garden side of the building and the other on Doyle. The drawings include a coffee shop on the ground level and a rooftop bar and restaurant.

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

The developer is also pushing for changes on Doyle. He wants to make it more pedestrian-friendly by turning it into a one way street, widening the sidewalk and planting more trees — at his expense. 

The new building would also include three levels of underground parking, and some spaces would be available to the public, he said.

Project supported by business group

The head of the Spring Garden Road Business Association supports the proposal.

"It's going to be a great addition to that end of Spring Garden," Juanita Spencer said.

"We're hoping once that's in place we're really going to see some change coming up the street, as well."

Westwood Developments hopes to have the proposal approved in February. 

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