Plaza plan changes don't sway neighbours

Residents cite density, lack of retail as concerns for condo development

Proposed tweaks to the Bathurst Manor Plaza redevelopment are keeping a stalemate alive between residents, the city and developer Kilbarry Holdings.

The application, which will include condos, townhouses and retail space, is still under review by city staff.

Situated on the northeast corner of Wilmington Avenue and Overbrook Place, the project has been sowing discord among citizens and the developer since 2008.

Residents were initially unhappy about losing commercial space, but under the most recent application the developer and the city agreed to double it from 930 to 1,860 square metres.

But Ward 10 councillor James Pasternak said it still falls short.

“The area was a retail mall,” he said. “Now there’s very little retail left in the plan.”

In addition, he said residents should not have to drive their cars to Dufferin Street to run basic errands.

Throughout 2010 Kilbarry Holdings made changes to Bathurst Manor including a reduction in building height — from eight to six storeys— introduction of parks and a wrap-around path that would allow easy access to the parking lot.

Besides the decrease in retail, residents are also concerned about high density.

Pasternak said the building’s residential units went down from 421 to 394.

“The density is still unmanageable,” he said, adding existing infrastructure could not support a residential increase.

Existing schools, for example, wouldn’t be able to support an influx of students and families would likely have to bus their children to schools outside the area, he said.

Adam Brown, the lawyer for the developer Kilbarry Holdings Corporation, said he understands the community’s concerns but hopes the mixed-use area will attract locally suitable amenities such as banks, grocery stores and barbershops.

“We hope all (these types of businesses) will come,” he said. “But the market will determine that.”

The next community consultation on the redevelopment is scheduled for the fall.

About this article:

By: Alima Hotakie
Posted: Aug 17 2011 2:29 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto