PEI

84-unit Grafton Street apartment passes first reading

An apartment building planned for 199 Grafton St. unanimously passed its first reading at Charlottetown city council Monday night.

Council voted 9-0 to proceed with the APM project

The apartment complex at 199 Grafton Street would be constructed in what is now a parking lot behind the Polyclinic. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC)

An apartment building planned for 199 Grafton St. unanimously passed its first reading at Charlottetown city council Monday night.

Developer Tim Banks of APM wants to construct the complex in what is now a parking lot behind the Polyclinic. The six-storey project would contain 84 units, of which 60 would be designated affordable housing, and would include a parking garage on the lower levels.

The development requires several variances — deviations from the city's building rules — that need to be passed by council for the project to go ahead.

"When they can't abide by the bylaws or comply with the bylaw, they have to come to council and explain why they're in this kind of predicament, and council will make the decision, as they did tonight," planning board chair Coun. Mike Duffy said.

"That's the first of two steps."

Duffy said the proposal will now get a second reading on May 31, but he said that is usually a formality.

A public meeting was held in April, where some residents expressed concerns over the height of the building as well as how it would fit in the historic area.

The new building would have affordable housing units and a public access parking garage. (APM)

Duffy said the whole council attended to hear them out, but the resolution passed Monday was "pretty well the same format that was at the public meeting."

"It's a very complicated document and it's a big project, but it would be quite a venture."

The vote was 9-0. Coun. Mitch Tweel was not present.

Banks has said he hopes to break ground on the project by Aug. 1 with people ready to move in by January 2023.

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