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This article was published 11/6/2018 (1103 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Neighbours in University Heights can expect a new seven-storey apartment complex at the "gateway" to their community in the near future.
On June 5, Riel community committee approved a subdivision, rezoning, and variances to make way for a 105-unit multi-family rental complex at 30, 32 and 34 University Crescent at the intersection of Pembina Highway.
According to Wayne Bollman, a development consultant who appeared at committee on behalf of developers Nigel Furgus of Paragon Design Build and Joel Rodrigues of JR Holdings, the new rental complex will be a high-quality project that will be home to a diverse cross-section of people, including students and those living in the area who are looking to downsize.
"The highly visible and inviting presence on the street for this gateway project will not only improve the existing housing stock that exists there, but also provide much-needed multi-family accommodations in close proximity to the University of Manitoba," Bollman said.
The three plots of land where the apartment complex is set to be built cover a total of 55,872-square-feet and were formerly zoned single family residential. The one-and-a-half storey homes currently on the land were constructed between 1947 and 1952, according to a City administrative report.
The project as proposed, with 70 one-bedroom and 34 two-bedroom units plus a 38-stall covered parkade and 64-stall surface parking lot, represents a $20-million investment in the neighbourhood, Bollman said.
"There may be students there and we anticipate that there’s going to be a wide variety of socioeconomic groups represented as residents within that complex. We hope that’s the case," Bollman said. "Whoever goes into that complex has to pass a stringent application process."
Residents from the neighbouring Agassiz community attended the public hearing to voice their disappointment with the project. Concerns included an increase in traffic along University Crescent, a towering structure overlooking the backyards of people living on Agassiz Drive and Glengarry Drive, increased street parking, and changes to the overall fabric of the neighbourhood.
Murray Ballance, a 40-year resident of the area, suggested a three- or four-storey building would be more appropriate for the site.
"If you lived in our community, if you lived on Agassiz Drive, would you consider your community being beautified by having a seven storey building in your backyard," Balance told the committee.
Trevor Ogwal, who lives in the area, echoed his neighbours’ concerns and said development in the area has prompted long time residents to put their homes up for sale.
"When the stadium was proposed there I knew it was the beginning of the end for the area," he said.
"Now we’ve got the stadium there, we’re bringing in multiplexes, it’s just not the same.
"My complaint is that we’re destroying an academic neighbourhood for people going to a university that might just be transient as far as international students who really don’t have a stake in the community," he said.
Riel community committee approved the planner’s report with amendments, including the removal of a proposed pathway between Agassiz Drive and University Crescent, and addition of a minimum eight-foot landscaped buffer on the east and south property line.
Janice Lukes, councillor for South Winnipeg-St. Norbert, said approving the development will help retain single-family homes in the area.
"There has been a plan for University Crescent being a corridor, a major artery, a major corridor," Lukes said.
"The reason we look to putting density on corridors, is because we don’t want to put it in residential communities."
The applications will now go to the standing policy committee on property and development, heritage and downtown development.