Charlottetown council cautioned to take care over apartment building design

Some concern was expressed over the height and design of a proposed apartment building on Charlottetown's Grafton Street at a public meeting Tuesday evening, but developer Tim Banks noted: 'It's not like we're doing something unusual.'

Developer Tim Banks points out neighbourhood already has higher buildings

The proposed building would go in the parking lot behind the Polyclinic on Grafton Street in Charlottetown. (Google Street View)

Some concern was expressed over the height and design of a proposed apartment building on Grafton Street in Charlottetown at a public meeting Tuesday evening.

Developer Tim Banks of APM wants to construct the building at 199 Grafton Street, in the parking lot of 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.

About 30 people attended the public meeting on the proposal, expressing both concerns about and support for the project.

"It was no surprise to me to see the folks from the area who have a vested interest — and also a real keen interest — in the history and the architecture of the downtown," said Coun. Mike Duffy, chair of the planning board, .

The height of the building was one concern, but Banks pointed out that it is not out of line with others in the area. 

"There's 15 buildings within the same circle of the city that are higher, in fact, than the building we're proposing, so it's not like we're doing something unusual," he said.

Close attention needs to be paid to the whole design of the building because it is located in the historic 500 Lot Area of Charlottetown, says Joan Cumming. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC)

Banks cited in particular the Holman Grand, which is two blocks away, and the Maritime Electric building across the street.

Resident Joan Cumming said her concerns went beyond the height of the building.

She said council must ensure the building's design fits in with heritage aspects of the old 500 Lot Area south of Euston Street.

"Sincere thought and consideration will have to go into every aspect of what is built on this site," said Cumming. "Once these buildings are up, we're stuck with them."

Another neighbour said he expected any development could only be an improvement on the existing parking lot.

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With files from Sheehan Desjardins