Friday, January 23, 2009

Thank God For This Economy... Kim is singing a new tune..

It really funny how the "tunes" change... and it great news they do... first I'm going to say MAJOR KUDOS to Richard Homburg and Mike Arnold for sticking with it and getting this much needed major project off the ground... secondly I want to thank them for affording me one of the biggest "laughs" of the year... Councillor Kim Devine with her mug front and center on CBC compass singing "tunes" of great praise for getting rid of the "silly" 39 foot height restriction in Downtown Charlottetown.... I'm still laughing this morning... back a few years ago I, as local developer, led a charge to increase the planning density in Downtown Charlottetown and my biggest complaint with the old bylaws was the height restriction was stymieing development in our City and I felt we should amend the bylaw and get rid of it... Councillor Devine and her band of "don't get ahead friends" were 100% against raising the height restriction... yes they did a "token" 10 foot setback amendment in the "tiny" core area but she and a number of other Councillors were dead against amending the height restrictions... now the economy is in the toilet and thank God "Kimmie and Council" are singing a new tune... this is so funny.... I think I'll run out a throw up a new "10 storey" on Water Street...
Crews start work today on big capital project
The Guardian
Homburg’s major $45-million three-phase development project is officially a go. Construction begins today on an eight-storey commercial office building on Fitzroy Street while work on the 10-storey hotel will begin in April.Charlottetown City Council approved a height variance request Thursday from the required 39.4 feet to approximately 127 feet for a proposed hotel at 123-125 Grafton Street. The hotel was supposed to front onto Queen Street, but Homburg ran into problems with the Charlottetown property owner who owns the TD Dominion Bank. Homburg needed the approval of that property owner before it could build on the vacant lot next door. That property owner is the Nemir Tweel Corp Ltd. and Christopher Tweel. The two parties were unable to reach an agreement and Homburg has since launched a lawsuit against the family. Homburg then applied to the City of Charlottetown for a new variance on Grafton Street where the development doesn’t involve any of the commercial properties owned by the Tweels.Homburg got the approval it needed on Thursday. A spokesman with Homburg said initial work will involve removing the current façade on the front of the Holman’s building, completing some structural repairs to the original façade behind the current façade and then proceeding with demolition behind that.The hotel is expected to open in July 2010. Part of the Fitzroy Street office building project will involve closing off a portion of the street. Beginning today, traffic will not be permitted to turn onto Fitzroy Street from University Avenue. It’s being closed off so construction equipment, such as the crane, can be positioned on the street. Homburg was using the vacant lot next to the old Playhouse but the Tweel company owns that. They cancelled Homburg’s lease last fall. A city official said the Fitzroy entrance at University Avenue will be blocked off for the next six to eight weeks. After that it will be restricted to one lane for the duration of construction.In the meantime, traffic which needs to access businesses on Fitzroy Street, between University Avenue and Queen Street, will be temporarily permitted to turn off Queen Street onto Fitzroy (normally the wrong way on the one-way street). Also on Thursday, the city officially threw its support behind an underground connector/pedway between the Confederation Court Mall and the proposed hotel to Confederation Centre of the Arts. The Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust has applied for funding under the Build Canada Fund. The city supports the pedway project as long as it doesn’t interfere with applications the city has or will have under the same program.

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