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Pergola Commons Property Pre-submission for Drastic Changes

Plans for transforming a shopping plaza in the south end are progressing, albeit slowly. Pergola Commons, located at the intersection of Gordon Street and Clair Road East, is owned by First Capital REIT, has recently submitted preliminary reports to the city. These proposals, if accepted, would lead to a significant redevelopment of the area. The plan includes constructing four mixed-use buildings, each between 10 to 14 stories, featuring 721 residential units and commercial spaces on the ground floor.

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In a letter to the City of Guelph’s Senior Development Planner, First Capital FEIT writes:

We, First Capital REIT (“First Capital”), agents of FCHT HOLDINGS (ONTARIO) CORPORATION, own the property municipally known as 1-105 Clair Road East, referred to moving forward for the purpose of this development application as 1 Clair Road East (the “subject site”). The subject site is situated at the southwest corner of Clair Road East and Hawkins Drive, and is bound by Clair Road East and Poppy Drive East to the North and South respectively, and Farley Drive and Hawkins drive to the West and East respectively. The subject site is a part of the larger Pergola Commons shopping centre, which extends west to Gordon Street.

We are pleased to submit the enclosed Official Plan Amendment & Zoning By-law Amendment pre-submission application to permit the comprehensive redevelopment of the subject site with four 10-14 storey mixed-use and residential buildings. The development program contemplates the introduction of 721 residential dwelling units, 1,841 square metres of grade-related commercial space fronting onto Clair Road East, 791 vehicular parking spaces, and 858 bicycle parking spaces, and 4 loading spaces.

In support of these applications, we have enclosed a Planning Justification Report prepared by MHBC, and an Urban Design Rationale Report prepared by Bousfields Inc., concluding that the proposed development will contribute to the achievement of numerous Provincial and Municipal policies. It also concludes that the proposal is consistent with the 2020 Provincial Policy Statement, the 2020 Growth Plan, and the Guelph Official Plan, including OPA 80.

It is our position that the proposal represents good planning and urban design, and responds to the Provincial and Municipal policy directions that encourage intensification and the efficient use of land and infrastructure within areas designated for growth, particularly in locations that are well-served by existing municipal infrastructure.

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The current zoning of the property is specifically for a community shopping center. However, a proposed city-wide zoning change, which is currently under appeal, would reclassify this area for mixed use. This change would permit the inclusion of residential spaces in the development.

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