PEI

Hundreds of new homes planned for Charlottetown's Sherwood neighborhood

A major housing development is being proposed for a parcel of land behind the Charlottetown Mall.

Development proposal includes land to connect Sherwood, West Royalty

The development would also include a new apartment building, as well as a medical clinic. (APM)

A major housing development is being proposed for a parcel of land behind the Charlottetown Mall.

Developer Tim Banks told CBC News his company, Pan American Properties, plans to build 300 units over the next decade on about six hectares off of Towers Road.

"We're talking about 300 units over the next 10 years, somewhere in that order," said Banks.

"We're here for the long term and we're here to co-operate with the city and make sure that what we're putting forward is good for the entire neighbourhood."

If the city approves the plan, work on the first 80 units at what Banks is calling Sherwood Crossing could begin this year. Those would be duplexes on the Mount Edward Road side of the property. That would be followed by apartments, including underground parking and affordable housing, on the mall side of the property.

Banks said he is not in a hurry to build. He wants to make sure the neighbours are on board.

"It certainly won't happen all at once," he said.

"The market is catching up now to the rental demand in the Charlottetown marketplace. So we're looking at this as a long-term venture."

Banks' development goes before the city's planning board on March 2. 

Connecting neighbourhoods

The City of Charlottetown plans to spend $650,000 to connect Towers Road to Spencer Drive, behind the Charlottetown Mall.  

Drivers making a right turn off Towers Road, behind the Charlottetown Mall, will be able to connect to Spencer Drive, the shopping area where Canadian Tire and Sobeys is located, once a new road is constructed this summer. (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

Coun. Mike Duffy, chairman of the public works committee, says the new road will run parallel to the Confederation Trail. He said that will help ease traffic flow which is a problem now and will only get worse when Banks's new development gets underway. 

Drivers will be able to make a right turn off Towers Road onto the new road which will lead to Spencer Drive, connecting them to Canadian Tire and Sobeys without having to drive through the Cineplex parking lot. 

"We have traffic issues out in this area," Duffy said. 

"We don't really have a proper city street that takes us from Towers Road over to University Avenue. What they have been using up until this point in time is the parking lots on the parameters of the Charlottetown Mall and that's not really good policy for the city to be using private parking lots to be transporting people."

Work is expected to get underway this summer and gas tax revenue will help the city pay for the project. 

Less congestion

Duffy said it's part of a series of road changes in the area designed to improve traffic flow. Those changes include a redesign of what is commonly referred to as the Peter Pan corner, just north of the Charlottetown Mall entrance, and improvements to the intersection at North River Road and Capital Drive.

The development would begin with townhouses close to Mount Edward Road. (APM)

"It will mean that people from the Sherwood community will be able to get over to the retail side of Charlottetown a lot quicker and not have to go back down to University Avenue or get congested in a mall parking lot," Banks said. 

Land for that road, running along Confederation Trail, would be provided as part of the development project.

Banks, who also has connections to the operations of the Charlottetown Mall, said there has been a significant increase in through traffic in front of the Cineplex in the last five years, and it would be better if there was a public route available.

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With files from Wayne Thibodeau

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