Terrace takes another step closer to construction

Raissa Tetanish
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AMHERST - The town's first condominium took a leap today towards commencing construction after being given the official go-ahead from the town.

Terrace takes another step closer to construction

AMHERST - The town's first condominium took a leap today towards commencing construction after being given the official go-ahead from the town.

The Terrace, which has brought up a lot of conversation around the town, was approved Wednesday morning when the Town of Amherst signed an agreement with Steward Equity Management Ltd.

"The Terrace will soon be the most convenient and dynamic residential location in Amherst," said Les Carrie, president of Steward Equity Management, unable to hide his smile.

"It will also be the impetus to revitalizing Amherst's downtown."

For the past year, the company has been working on the project, finally purchasing the land at 155 East Victoria Street this past fall.

The next plan, says Carrie, is to finish up the final pricing on the units (32 in total), as well as open a showroom at a yet-to-be-decided location.

With a quarter of the units with reserved signs on them, construction won't begin until 75 per cent of the units have been sold. It will then take about six months to complete.

"We're expecting construction to begin on the project in early spring of next year," Carrie said.

"Interest has been tremendous with reservations now for over 25 per cent of the suites."

Amherst Mayor Jerry Hallee says the project, although controversial at times, has already done a lot for the town by stirring up conversation.

"This is going to improve the image and reputation of Amherst," Hallee said.

"We're moving forward. We live in the 21st Century, not the 19th, and that's where we're moving."

Carrie says the planning process, which included public consultation, provided the company an opportunity to work with the community to deliver a product suitable for everyone.

"We've come up with something that's consistent with the needs of the people and their wants," he said.

Although the project is mainly targeted at mature adults aged 55 and over, the company isn't in the nursing home business.

"This project is going to assist those moving out of their single-family homes that still want to keep some of their independence," said Carrie.

For more information, contact numbers and a photo of the project, check out the billboard installed on the property.

rtetanish@amherstdaily.com



Geographic location: AMHERST, 155 East Victoria Street

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Recent comments

  • Jay
    January 18, 2010 - 11:23

    To Ron from NS:the apartments are going to be PRE SOLD.So you won't have to worry about people not affording them.They are for people who can afford them.It should be a great addition to the town.

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 11:23

    Hi Steve,

    The Municipal Government Act does contain provisions concerning unsightly premises. I know I've studied them. The Town of Amherst has utilized these provisions numerious times within the limits of the resources available. Qualified yes I know but all governement action is constrained by resources. Unsightly premises actions/applications aren't as simple or cost less as you imply. There is Court and there are costs and most of the time the burden is on the taxpayer to cover those costs first and then try to recoup those costs from the owner. Most of the time the owners comply. Go on canlii and search the legislation and cases on it. You'll find Amherst has gone to court on a number of ocassions on these matters.

    And Snoose what are you suggesting that governement should try to force private developers into building low cost homes?

  • Snoose
    January 18, 2010 - 11:20

    *sigh* Someone is getting happy with the delete button again! Why oh why are you doing this ADN... let the people have a voice :o) Please!

  • someone else
    January 18, 2010 - 11:17

    That's strange, approved by the Town on Wednesday morning ? I could've sworn I'd seen the sign being installed on the weekend. hmmmm

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 11:16

    let them build it and if people (babyboomers) can afford it, all the better. 25% are pre something, it'll be interesting to see whether this project will go as planned. A condo in amherst? I guess it is a sign of an aging population.

    I think it will turn into apartments within 5 years if not sooner.

    Arguements about affordable housing are best left for an another article.

  • Snoose
    January 18, 2010 - 11:16

    Ok, now that the java has started to course through these sluggish bones, I may have a small comment or two :)

    I was re-reading the article and I picked up on We're moving forward. We live in the 21st Century, not the 19th, and that's where we're moving.

    Hmmm, I wonder if this forward thinking includes 'moving' towards hounding the province of funding for a Safe Injection Site/Needle Exchange Program, safe, WARM housing for our most vulnerable residents, new sidewalks on the ENTIRE west side of town, skateboard/BMX park for ALL the youth of this area!!

    Don't mind this fevered brain, you know I was just wondering what living in Amherst in the 21st century is supposed to feel like?? ...will it be like a cramp? or maybe a headache? Childbirth maybe?? OMG Jerr, get out the epidural man, you won't be able to take it :)

    But thanks ohh so much for your ability to 'see' into our future...

  • someone
    January 18, 2010 - 11:16

    too bad they wouldnt think of the younger generation as well, so many young people are out on their own as well while there are no half decent places to live to raise a child, it would be nice to get some half decent apartment buildings built maybe most apartments are run down shacks or party houses.. why not get something on the go for mature young adluts with familys or just by them selfs......

  • Mark
    January 18, 2010 - 11:14

    The condos ARE being built by a local contractor, Alliance Building who have built high quality buildings such as the Pharmasave and Adult workshop in Amherst, the town is booming regarding construction, property prices are high and more and more high end properties are being built, the town does need higher quality rental units but dont panalize people who are fortunate to be able to afford a decent place to live!!!!!

  • Huge
    January 18, 2010 - 11:13

    construction won't begin until 75 per cent of the units have been sold

    TRANSLATION: We don't have financing in place yet.

  • Snoose
    January 18, 2010 - 11:12

    So, Jay from amherst,NS...could you possibly clarify something for me please?

    the apartments are going to be PRE SOLD.So you won't have to worry about people not affording them.They are for people who can afford them.It should be a great addition to the town. what does that statement mean exactly?

    I'm interpreting that whoever can afford pre-sold,pre-qualifed types of real estate are GOOD for the town versus the other 'kind' of un-qualified type that so DESPERATELY need clean, warm housing are just not worth the thought or commitment?
    What type would you be Jay, are you the 'can-afford' or the 'cannot-afford' type? :)

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 11:07

    You are so right Steve ,the town has the legal authority to move forward with unsightly and unsafe issues with regard to properties .They only have to look at the great success that HRM has had .It is hard slogging work but it pays off in the long run .Amherst has picked on one person of note ,however,they should concentrate on the low rental fire hazard flop houses and derelict ,vacant commercial buildings. There are also many private dwelling properties that need to be given the direction to clean up their act .The time to do this compliance work is between May to Oct .The town could hire a seasonal worker in the building inspection dept to conduct the inspections and related follow ups .If a property owner fails to perform the required work ,then the town has the authority to proceed with a contractor and bill the property owner . IMO

  • Ron
    January 18, 2010 - 11:07

    Just what Amherst needs. More apartments that nobody can afford. There aren't too many people who can afford what they have now. All this will do is drive up the already inflated price of accomodations in a town where the majority of jobs now seem to be in the service industry. We sure don't have the industrial base any more.

  • Snoose
    January 18, 2010 - 11:02

    ...and the times, they are a-changin'...
    gosh, that's all I have in me today ;)

  • Alex
    January 18, 2010 - 11:01

    To Snoose. This is oh so typical Mayah Hallee hogwash.

    A mayor like Hallee who did not grow up here has no idea where we've been as a people and a town.

    How does he have any idea where we should be going if he has no appreciation of our past?

  • Snoose
    January 18, 2010 - 10:57

    Pardon me Jason & Jay, but my comments about affordable housing could not come at a better time :)
    These are issues that constantly need to be brought to light gentleman, whether they are relevant to the exact subject in this article (that's open for debate) is mute.
    This is an article about a developer,town council, land use & profit... I see it as a perfect opportunity to speak my mind, regarding these issues.
    You see potatoe, I see potaa-toe, let's call the whole thing off...taa taa fellas.

  • Steve
    January 18, 2010 - 10:51

    Jason wrote:

    *there is unsightly premises legislation which is actively enforced by the town.*

    Sorry Jason that is BS the town will not get off its A** to enforce this legislation or any other bylaw for that matter, this is in my experience....

    IMHO

  • Icy
    January 18, 2010 - 10:43

    Well, well, it's been pretty quiet in here - thanks, Condo Man, for making my morning complete!

    Those of you who are lamenting the high cost of apartment living - and the low number of affordable units - it's all economics - the cost of building, maintaining and HEATING apartment buildings is out of sight - so of course those who can only afford $500 per month are not going to get a shiny new unit! Give your heads a shake.

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 10:42

    these are going to be beautiful apartments!

  • Eric
    January 18, 2010 - 10:41

    Sorry to disagree Robert, but as many Canadian home owners are experiencing, outside business (contractors) are a bad thing for any community as they are there for nothing more than a cash grab. I do think development is a good thing, as long as it is done by local companies. I personally know of electricians, plumbers & carpenters in Amherst who do not have work, it makes much more sense to give the project to an Amherst company, or a combination of Amherst companies to stimulate the local economy. This will create a cycle that builds on itself and grows. It will only grow stagnate if companies come, build condo's or apartments, then leave, robbing the local economy, taking from it but putting nothing back into it.
    As i said in my above comment, outside companies are there to take what profit they can from local economy, and then leave with it. And as a company, i am sure they have existing contracts for supplies with companies not in Amherst.
    Outside business that makes a permanent home in Amherst is good, (such as manufacturing facilities, wind energy, IT, etc... physical product companies) Transparent companies like the one in question, will be there and gone, like a one night stand.
    The local autorities should introduce a BIP (business incentive policy) in which services are tendered out, allowing local companies to bid higher than outside companies to keep the money local. With more local wealth and industrial growth, this will attract more permanent residents which in turn will attract more business.
    However, our town council is very much a club, that likes their small town and doesn't want it to change. Companies such as michelin, pepsi, coke, have been denied permits in our town. Industry like this would allow Amherst to thrive as it should. There is a very important highway that passes within a stones throw of the town, and our geographical location should also be taken advantage of , Amherst is the GATEWAY to CANADA and if we could get council or mayor with the benefit of local people in mind, instead of their own personal desire, things would be great.

  • Snoose
    January 18, 2010 - 10:39

    In response to you Jason, *What does a private developer have to do with gov'ts responsbility to the poor? *

    We (communities) are the government! so it IS our buisness to who permits are granted, where, when & why :)

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 10:39

    I see a private sale of land to a private developer who wants to build a condo thing to grab some cash from the aging boomers. What does a private developer have to do with gov'ts responsbility to the poor?

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:39

    The town can upscale the quality of accomodation by putting your building inspector to work .Get a minimum standards for housing going . Have unsightly premises inspected and written up with specific orders to property owners issued . The more work that is done in this area the ,the better . Slumlords who hold many units and do no maintenance will generally sell off their holdings and more units will become owner occupied .Less money will be available for the druggie/booze dives as money is spent on fixing up properties with newfound pride . The building inspector has to crack down on those derelict vacant and or undermaintained commercial buildings in the downtown area .They are a disgrace ,to this or any other century . Time for council to get cracking on these old flop houses and run down commercial junk . IMO

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 10:38

    ummm...there are minimum standards for housing. also there is unsightly premises legislation which is actively enforced by the town. where are these so-called slum apartment buildings in amherst?

  • Robert
    January 18, 2010 - 10:38

    RE: Alex Downey from Large Triple-triple, NS.

    It's exactly your attitude that keeps developement to a minimum in this town. Is it only born locals who're allowed to have an opinion about this area? Are *come from aways* not allowed to have a say in the town in which they live? Why is it that only those who are born here have an appreciation for the town and history?

    That, sir, is an extreamly narrowminded point of view that does nothing to solve the problems of this town. Were your voice the majority I imagine Amherst would be suffering a lot more than it currently is.

    Outside developement, to draw in folks (whether retired or newly independent) is always a good thing for the local economy. It prevents stagnation and increases revenue. It also increases outside interest in the area which is always good.

    So as a *Come from away*, who has been here for 20 years, I consider your xenophobic opinion to be a matter of hinderance and counter-productive to any discussion on town business.

  • Lilly
    January 18, 2010 - 10:36

    These condos look very nice, It is time for people to have the option of worry free living, and that is one of the perks to living in a condo. They are secure and low maintenance. I would love to see them when they are done! And I do not think they will have any trouble filling it up!

  • Eric
    January 18, 2010 - 10:34

    Unfortunately, the town is being fooled. This is common in western Canada, companies come in with plans for outstanding new development, sucker some people into buying them, slap them together, and leave with their money. WHY SHOULD AMHERST MONEY SUPPORT THE HALIFAX ECONOMY. These condo's will be no different. The construction i expect will be sub par, and within a few years the building will have aged terribly.
    The biggest problem that EVERYONE is over looking is it is a company from Halifax. This isn't putting money into our local economy. They will bring their own workers, their own building materials, and after its slapped together, they will leave with the money. This will not generate revenue or stimulate the economy (or lack of) in Amherst.
    The town (council) needs to forget about the old boys club and invite some industry to our town. Expand our industrial park, lobby for corporate tax breaks to create an environment companies can profit from, while providing jobs to local people. The more companies that make a permanent home in Amherst will create competition among employers for employees, which will raise wages and allow more local people to afford homes and purchase products, thus feeding more money into our local economy. At that time, condo's would be a wonderful idea, ONLY if they are constructed by local (amherst) companies with locally purchased materials, owned & maintained by locals. This forward motion would actually move Amherst to the 21st century and attract more business, tourism and famalies. But I doubt the council would let that happen to their quiet little town.

  • Me
    January 18, 2010 - 10:33

    Lily, if you want to see what these look like, drive through Bedford, or any other city suburb... these are the same wooden frame, 4 story, very boring apts. that are slapped together in a few months. Certainly not top quality, as they are advertised to be.

  • Me
    January 18, 2010 - 10:30

    Yes Lily, I have lived in them, and as Eric from NT/NS stated above, they are cheap to build, and then the developer is gone. Ask yourself why someone from Amherst isn't building them? They won't do anything to revitalize the downtown of Amherst...everyone will still go to S. Albion St. for their shopping. (other than Dayle's)
    The only saving grace is that the building is 25% reserved ... not sold . With the huge number of unsold properties in Amherst right now, i would be very surprised if they can actually sell the 75% they need to start construction by the spring. The only real reason I can see that Hallee wants it so badly, is a single family dwelling would bring in 2 to 4 thousand in annual taxes... a project like this would fill the town coffers to the tune of approx 100 thousand a year...

  • Jay
    January 18, 2010 - 10:29

    Hey Snoose,maybe you should stick to the clean needle/skatepark campaigne.What's wrong with Amherst having the condo??If Amherst needs more affordable housing,maybe some local landlords should look at building them instead of the dumps they have now.Don't crap all over the developers because the condo won't suit everybody's budget.Oh,and wouldn't you like to know.

  • Lilly
    January 18, 2010 - 10:29

    To Me here Fr NS: They may be boreing to you and that is fine... why would I drive all the way to bedford to see something that is a new addition to the town of Amherst?? And how do you know they are not top quality? did you personally build them?? or do you live in them??