New Development Proposal at King and Bridgeport

Stone He -
Posted on: September 26, 2018

A controversial 11 and 24 storey high twin-tower building proposal has been placed under consideration for construction on the site of the former post office at King and Bridgeport.

HIP Developments search for approval to construct the condominium started in April. Since the building exceeded the 16-metre limitation, the city council made an amendment on the construction restrictions on September 10 to allow the possible construction to take place. However, the Region of Waterloo will have to approve the amendment before construction can begin.

The new development would be up to 81 metres tall, compared to the surrounding buildings where the height reaches up to 16 metres in uptown Waterloo. The residential building would have around 321 units,  an increase from the 290 units announced earlier in April. HIP Developments hopes to begin construction by the spring of 2019.

The residential building would have it’s first four floors dedicated to a group called Launch Waterloo. Launch is a group that dedicates itself to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programs in the Waterloo region. The centre within the building would aim to increase interest to and inspire young people to pursue the arts and sciences.

This proposed development had faced backlash from Chris Kolednik, a mayoral candidate running for the next election. In a Twitter post, he called the new development a “monster” and claimed that the city council was “selling out Waterloo for taxation dollars.” In addition, Kolednik worried that this development would “absolutely destroy the uptown Waterloo spirit.”

Kolednik’s stance on this development is based on his view that the city has not considered community input regarding the recent trend of rapid residential developments. He states that some of the recent developments look as if an industrial building has been placed within a residential neighbourhood. He also stated that an earlier 13-storey Beechwood project “sticks like a sore thumb that doesn’t belong.” This is an idea that anyone who has taken STV 202 would remember: it is important to not design something that would stick out.

However, there have been some positive comments about new developments in general. Kelly Steiss, another mayoral candidate, wants new developments to reflect the growth of the city and allow for growth “in a way that makes sense.” In addition, Steiss has mentioned that most residents told her that they are not opposed to the new developments in the city.

The Waterloo municipal elections will happen on October 22, 2018. Whoever wins this election could have a large impact on the future of this and future residential projects, and the direction in which Waterloo will grow.

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