Developers propose 7-storey apartment building for downtown Summerside

An Island builder has plans on the drawing board for what he says would be P.E.I.’s tallest apartment building in downtown Summerside.

The proposal still needs to be approved by the province and the city

The seven-storey project would be built in downtown Summerside and house 72 units, with 30 units designated for affordable housing. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

An Island builder has plans on the drawing board for what he says would be P.E.I.'s tallest apartment building in downtown Summerside. 

The proposed seven-storey, 72-unit building would be built on the site of what was once a Burger King restaurant on Water Street. 

The builder, Arsenault Brothers Construction, says it would be the tallest building in Summerside and the tallest residential building on P.E.I. He added only a few Charlottetown hotels would be taller.

'It will be a great thing for the people, you know on the waiting list with the province that will be able to find a beautiful new place to call home,' says property development manager David Arsenault. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"If we can take it from the proposal phase to the building stage and put people in these units in a great location, downtown Summerside, it will be a great thing for the people, you know on the waiting list with the province," said David Arsenault, property development manager with the company. 

Some units earmarked for affordable housing

The proposed apartment building would house one- and two-bedroom units. Arsenault said 30 of those units would be designated for affordable housing.

"There's definitely a need for it right now for sure and you know there are plenty of folks around the Summerside area and surrounding areas that are wanting to move into the city," Arsenault said. "They want to be closer to pharmacies and hospitals and groceries." 

Arsenault Brothers Construction has built a number of multi-storey buildings on the Island, as well as in Halifax and St. John's. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

He said he hopes the apartment building will help support business development in the downtown core.

"I think if we bring in quite a few people, into the downtown area with this project we can make it a go and it'll be a great thing for business, for existing businesses and new businesses in Summerside," he said.

Proposal awaiting approval 

Arsenault said stakes are in the ground on-site and an environmental assessment of the property was done last month. He said the construction company is still working toward securing financing from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to complete the purchase of the land.

The proposal still needs to be approved by the province and the City of Summerside and officials with the city said nothing is set in stone yet.

"Right now we're in the final stages of that process and hoping to get the go-ahead in the next few weeks and then start construction as soon as the snow is gone," Arsenault said.

Arsenault says if the proposal is approved the company hopes to break ground this spring and the project should take one to two years to complete. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

He said once the proposal is approved the construction project would be complete in one to two years.

Arsenault Brothers Construction has built a number of multi-storey buildings on the Island, as well as in Halifax and St. John's. The company is also a subcontractor on the new six-storey hotel currently being built in Charlottetown.

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