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St. Thomas Times Journal: Redevelopment Proposal for Alma College Site in St. Thomas
Laura Broadly | October 6, 2018

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Alma developer decries public feedback

https://www.stthomastimesjournal.com/news/local-news/alma-developer-decries-public-feedback

From Issue No. 271 | October 8, 2018

The developer who plans to build three apartment buildings on the site of the former Alma College says he's discouraged by feedback the project received at a public meeting.

 

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The developer who plans to build three apartment buildings on the site of the former Alma College says he’s discouraged by feedback the project received at a public meeting.

City council held a meeting Tuesday to give residents a final opportunity to comment on the proposal by Patriot Properties Inc. before councillors decide whether to apply to have an order imposed by a provincial planning tribunal lifted.

“It was a little discouraging,” Michael Loewith of Patriot Properties said of the meeting.

Loewith presented a new concept plan Tuesday for the development that includes an Alma College commemorative spire.

But the new concept doesn’t include a replica facade – something the tribunal ordered.

The plan does include three apartment buildings, historic entrance gates, heritage garden, Alma College square and the historic amphitheatre.

Loewith said he was caught off guard at the meeting when Russell Schnurr, chair of council’s municipal heritage committee and a planning professor at Fanshawe College, presented a concept plan with a replica facade.

Loewith said a replica facade is financially “unfeasible” because about 8,000 square feet of historic masonry would need to be recreated at a cost of about $5.1 million.

 

“If we’re forced to do what he’s created and what Fanshawe College has created, I guess on our behalf, for the city’s behalf, the project will not go through,” Loewith said.

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