A rendering of Alec Chedrawe’s proposal for Portland Street, excluding utility and communication wires and poles. Photo: Zzap Architecture and Planning
A rendering of Alec Chedrawe’s proposal for Portland Street, excluding utility and communication wires and poles. Photo: Zzap Architecture and Planning

The municipality’s Design Advisory Committee is recommending in favour of a new development proposal for downtown Dartmouth.

Through his company, Canal Capital Ltd., developer Alec Chedrawe (Danny Chedrawe’s son) wants to build a seven-storey, 37-unit residential building with two levels of parking and one level of commercial space at 186, 188 and 190 Portland Street.

Two of the properties, 186 and 188, are parking lots, and 190 is a small apartment building with a vacuum shop in the front.

A screenshot of Google Streetview showing the site on the left.

According to the staff report to the committee, Zzap Architecture and Planning submitted a “pre-application” for approval under the Centre Plan. At this stage of the Centre Plan approval process, the proposal goes to the city’s Design Advisory Committee for input before going to public consultation. The development officer for the project, principal planner Sean Audas, ultimately decides whether to approve the proposal.

The proposal is compliant with the Centre Plan, Audas wrote in the report, and the developer isn’t asking for any variances.

The committee met last Wednesday, Mar. 10. The virtual meeting was not broadcast publicly and the draft minutes were posted online on Tuesday.

After a presentation from planner Claire Tusz, the committee members asked questions of staff and representatives from Zzap, including founder Joe Zareski, about the proposal.

“Zareski advised that Moffat’s Pharmacy is a well-known Dartmouth establishment and the design team is cognizant of its history,” the minutes say. “Zareski noted that the building façade is in keeping with the community. It is located and reflects how the site has been used for the past century.”

The committee amended the motion to recommend in favour of the development to add a series of non-binding recommendations. Those include: “More articulation, colour, interest and character on the eastern façade;” “Increased illumination to the pedestrian;” “vehicular accesses at the lower parking lot level on the western side of the building; “Consideration to the quality and accessibility of the units through long corridors;” and “A better balance in the use of materials above the street wall.”

The committee passed the amended motion.

Chedrawe’s proposal is the first of two for the area. He’s also planning a taller building for the Moffat’s Pharmacy building and its parking lot, 184 Portland St. and 44-48 Canal St.

Chedrawe bought the properties for $2.9 million in August 2020, according to ViewPoint Realty.

The pharmacy will move into this first new building before construction begins on the second, according to Zzap principal Connor Wallace.

Erin MacIntyre, municipal land development and subdivision program manager, told the committee the second proposal is still in the pre-application phase, and it will come to the committee as well.

Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

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