Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 2/6/2009 (3884 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
CITY council's property and development committee has stripped a 101-year-old Roslyn Road home of its heritage status, paving the way for a 12-storey, 74-unit condominium complex to rise behind the Osborne Village Safeway.
Ignoring a recommendation from council's historical buildings committee, councillors Scott Fielding (St. James), Russ Wyatt (Transcona) and Justin Swandel (St. Norbert, standing in for absent members) voted unanimously to remove a Grade III historic designation — the city's weakest form of heritage protection — from Dennistown House, which was built for a prominent Manitoba judge and is considered a rare surviving example of an early suburban Winnipeg home.
The de-listing, which still faces council approval, allows developer Sunstone Resort Communities to move forward with a plan to demolish Dennistown House and three other properties and build a residential complex called Dennistown Flats, which will include a historical gallery in its lobby.
The councillors said they supported the de-listing because they did not feel there was a compelling reason to preserve the home and they did not hear an in-person plea from area Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge), who recommended against the de-listing in her role as chairwoman of the historical buildings committee.
But the property committee did not allow Dennistown House to be demolished before city planners approve Sunstone's development plans for its condo project.
Sunstone intends to begin construction in 2010, once it has all its permits in place, general manager Bill Coady said. Dennistown Flats fits in with Osborne Village's long-term development plan, which calls for more apartment buildings and condos, he added.
"The attraction to the area is a lot of people already live here," he said.
But some of those people oppose the project on the grounds it will further degrade the historic character of Roslyn Road and will also create more traffic headaches in already congested Osborne Village.
Former city councillor Bernie Wolfe appeared before the property committee to urge councillors not to "let a chequebook take the place of a history book," while several Roslyn Road residents complained about the loss of trees and smaller buildings. Sunstone's Dennistown Flats plan calls for a 12-storey, 66-unit condo tower, as well as a row of eight two-storey townhouses. According to the company's promotional materials, the project will cost $20 million and add $330,000 to the city's property tax base every year.