A developer wants to build nearly 500 residential units on a single piece of property in Nanaimo’s north end.
North Vancouver-based Mint Residentials Ltd. plans to construct one six-storey condo building and two 20-storey condo towers at 6340 McRobb Ave. as part of a multi-phased development. Once completed, there would be 498 residential units on the property, according to documents available on the city’s website.
Phase 1 of Mint’s proposal calls for a six-storey 66-unit wooden-framed multi-family condominium building to built on the eastern half of the property, between Calinda Street and Sentinel Drive. The building would have 38 one-bedroom units, 24 two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom units, two levels of underground parking and an “open deck space” on the sixth floor, according to the documents.
Reza Salehi, principal architect with Salehi Architect, told the News Bulletin the building was designed in a way that is responsive and relative to the road and surroundings.
“The building’s masting on the west side is responding to Sentinel Drive, which runs beside it and has a bit of a curve to it. So the units in the southwest corner are different and the northwest corner also has different units. Those are completely different from the east side of the building,” he said.
The second phase proposes the construction of two 20-storey condominiums – resulting in 432 units – connected by a five-storey building on the western side of Calinda Street. There would be two studio units, 252 two-bedroom units, 20 three-bedroom units spread out between the two towers. Mint Residential is also planning to provide underground parking – 489 residential stalls and 22 guest stalls – as well as bike storage. Amenities such as gym, lounge with kitchen, outdoor play area, meeting rooms and a guest suite are also planned.
Salehi said the height of the two high-rise buildings will be approximately 60 metres, with the top floors having penthouse suites.
“The top floors will have the nicest units,” he said.
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A North Vancouver developer is proposing two high-rise condominium towers and smaller wood-frame six-storey condominium for 6340 McRobb Avenue in #Nanaimo's north end. Renderings for the two towers aren't available yet but here's a site plan for the project. pic.twitter.com/PSSHjGoZFX
— Nicholas M Pescod (@npescod) June 8, 2019
Renderings for Phase 2 aren’t available at the moment. Salehi said he is considering some design changes, particularly around the smaller five-storey building that will connect the two taller towers together.
“The fifth floor of the five-storey build is supposed to have an outdoor garden, but we may want to some modifications to that roof garden to emphasize the central portion of the building between the two towers,” Salehi said, adding. “We’re looking at some other smaller changes as well.”
Mint has submitted a development permit application to the city for Phase 1 if the project and plans on submitting a separate application for Phase 2 at a later date.
Rezoning is not required as the property is already zoned for high-density residential. The developers, however, are requesting an existing covenant requiring townhouses on the eastern portion of the property be changed in order to permit the construction of the proposed six-storey condominium.
The News Bulletin reported in August 2017 that the McRobb Avenue-property was for sale for $6.48 million, with listing agents envisioning two 20-storey condominiums dubbed Georgiaview Towers. According to B.C. Assessments the property sold last June for $5.25 million and has a current assessed value of $5 million.
Although the address is 6340 McRobb Ave., Mint Residentials’ 1.27-hectare property doesn’t border McRobb Avenue and there is no direct access to it. Salehi said the address could change but the plan is to give the project an official name.
“Later on we will have a name because it is a substantial project,” he said.
Salehi also said he’s not sure about a time frame for the project at the moment as he is waiting to hear back from the city.
Dave Stewart, planner with the city, said the development application for Phase 1 is now going through the referral process following a review from city’s design advisory panel.
“The next step is for the application to be reviewed internally,” he said.
Stewart said Mint is not requesting any variances and therefore their development application for Phase 1 does not require council’s approval but councillors will get to vote on their request for a covenant amendment.
“The covenant application will absolutely have to go before council at some point but I don’t know when that will happen,” he said.
The city has not received a development application for Phase 2 of the project according to Stewart.
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