By Trevor Suffield
Nov. 20, 2008
A developer that has proposed building a condominium complex on the site of the former Silver Heights Collegiate unveiled details of the project last week.
Greentree Homes hosted a public meeting Nov. 13 at Silver Heights Community Centre, at 2080 Ness Ave. in St. James.
Garth Steek, director of marketing and sales for Greentree Homes, led the meeting. Architect Raymond Wan, who is also involved in designing a proposed new football stadium for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, also attended.
A total of 48 residents attended the meeting. Wan displayed a conceptual blueprint of what the space will look like with the condos in place. He stressed that the final design of the condos has not been completed.
Steek, a former city councillor, said actual drawings of the condos would be made available at a future meeting.
“What we brought forward was the site plans only, to show people the way these condominiums would lie out, the height and the density,” Steek said.
The complex will include 132 units within 14 buildings. They will be priced between $175,000 and $275,000 each. Each condo will have a minimum of two bedrooms and approximately 1,200 sq. ft. of space. The old school will be completely demolished.
Morgan and Elizabeth Kotz, who have lived in the area for about a year, said they were worried about the size of the condo buildings.
“We’re concerned about the height of the condos and how that will look,” said Morgan. “The lower, the better.”
Wan said preliminary plans call for two four-storey buildings that will each be approximately 40 feet in height. Both buildings will be set back so they will not intrude on neighbouring properties, he said. The remaining buildings will all be two storeys high, with most parking spots located beneath them.
Trish and Marshall Clark attended the meeting to find out prices and timelines for construction. Both have lived in the area for more than a decade and wish to remain.
Trish said some people don’t want any buildings on the space. She said that’s simply not practical.
“The reality of it is that they have to build on this spot and they have to get the taxes collected,” she said. “You can’t please everyone.”
A survey asking for input from area residents was distributed at an initial public meeting in Oct. 8 and it was also distributed to area households . Wan said feedback received was incorporated into the site plan.
A second survey was distributed at the Nov. 13 meeting and Steek said the company will also be delivering it to area residences.
Greentree has not yet said when it expects construction of the complex to be completed. Steek said that it will begin the formal application process with the city by the end of January 2009. Completion of the project will depend on market conditions, he said.
Greentree Homes plans to develop the site in conjunction with the St. James school board. It has previously built residential units on Woodhaven and Columbus school sites in St. James.
Ron Weston, chief superintendent of the St. James-Assiniboia School Division, declined to comment on the project. The sale of the school site is conditional on the successful rezoning of the property.
Greentree has scheduled a third public meeting on the project for early December.