Two proposals for downtown high-rises will now go to public hearings, council decided last night.
Plans for a 21-storey condo on the south end of the Brewery Market property, and a 19-storey mixed use building on South Park Street at Brenton Place graduated to the next step in the approval process.
In the works for the last six years, the Brewery Market development includes renovating Keith Hall, a 19th century mansion built for former mayor and brew master Alexander Keith, to accommodate five residential units.
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North-end Halifax Coun. Patrick Murphy inquired last night whether the proposal would preserve parts of the historic interior of Keith Hall, such as the staircase and moldings.
“I hope that that will be something the developer will be looking at and not just gutting the building because it is part of our history,” Murphy said.
Paul Sampson, community development planner, said preserving the interior is not currently part of the development agreement.
The Heritage Advisory Committee recently recommended council not approve the proposed project because of its height and impact on the streetscape of Bishop Street.
Lower Sackville Coun. Bob Harvey expressed reservations about dealing with the Brewery Market building when the development approvals process may soon be overhauled through HRM by Design.
The first reading of HRM by Design is expected to take place in July, said Austin French, manager of planning services.
Downtown Halifax Coun. Dawn Sloane said council has to work within the current regulations and the proposal on the table right now.
“Do we stop this right in the dust and say ‘No?’ We’ve done that in the past and we’ve seen and heard from the citizens that we’ve stopped something that could mean progress for our city,” she said.
“At this point in time, I think we need to hear from the public …”