If you are wondering what is going on with the re-development project at 1215 Bidwell Street in the West End (currently the historic site of Maxine’s Restaurant and Lounge, formerly Balthazaar), you are not alone. After several year of planning, the good news for renters is that the project now includes 49 new rental units. (15 bedroom and 34 bachelor units ranging from 400-515 square feet, a 400 square foot bachelor is estimated to rent for $980/month)
The city zoning currently allow developers to build a low-rise structure or a tall, thin condo tower up to 210 feet on that site with no street level stores or purpose built rental units.
A third option now before council is a combination of the two. This tower would still be 210 ft, with added rental units and street level retail space. The front façade of the heritage building would be kept intact. This development proposal offers much needed purpose built rental units, higher density ratios, and a LEEDS green building to the site. However, there are remaining questions around affordability and the overall impact to the community by the development.
This project’s rezoning application was before Council on Oct 6,2009 and will be before city council for a public hearing on Dec 1st,2009.