Condo project gets green light

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - A controversial condominium project near downtown Amherst has been given the greenlight by the slimmest of margins.
Amherst town council voted 4-3 here last night to pass the project through second reading.
"We're pleased the town has approved the project," Les Carrie of Excel Real Estate said following the decision that clears the way for his company to construct an upscale 32-unit, four-storey condominium on the corner of South Adelaide and East Victoria streets.
While there's still a lot of work to be done before construction begins, including marketing the building to prospective buyers, Carrie is hoping ground can be broken this fall for occupany some time next year.
"We've had a lot of marketing done for us and we're confident we'll be successful," Carrie said.
The proposal has been a controversial one with neighbours opposing the development saying it's too big and will not fit into the Victorian streetscape along East Victoria and South Adelaide.
That divisiveness was evident as council voted on it as the same three councillors who opposed it during first reading - councillors Dale Fawthrop, Terry Rhindress and Ed Chitty - casted votes against this time while Mayor Jerry Hallee, Deputy Mayor George Baker and councillors Robert Angel and Dave March supported it.
"The past and the future can co-exist. I appreciate the past and believe we should preserve it, but we should not live in the past," March said. "Development at any cost, no; reasonable development, yes. This is a progressive step in the future of Amherst."
Angel said he supports the development because Carrie has showed a willingness to work with the town, the planning advisory committee and residents to make it work and most of the concerns he had about the project have been addressed.
"I am impressed with the positive reaction of the developers as they listened to not only council concerns, but to those of citizens. I am satisfied that the new and present design has addressed my concerns," Angel told council. "I believe I would not be acting responsibly, as a councillor, if I did not support this development as I think it will be a positive addition to the overall growth and development of the town."
Fawthrop appreciated what the debate has done - forced people to talk about protecting heritage - and he thanked the developer for his efforts, but he said he cannot support a project that's one storey too big while Chitty said his mind has not changed from the previous vote in March.
"It would be unanimous if it was one storey shorter and smaller," Chitty said. "As long as it's four stories I will be voting against it."

Organizations: Amherst town council

Geographic location: AMHERST, South Adelaide, East Victoria

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Recent comments

  • Michael
    January 18, 2010 - 11:17

    Frank - you've described my situation perfectly. As an ex-Pat still living south of the border, my wife and I are looking at retirement options and moving home to Amherst is one of them. I grew up on Acadia St and would like the opportunity to live in that neighborhood again without the added burden of an older home to upkeep.

    Dexter - it's all about location. Look at the rest of Dickey street. These units will sell.

    Good job town council.

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 10:47

    Amherst must cash in on the aging boomer population, these condos are the way to do it. Unfortunately I predict that this condo will end up being nothing more than an apartment complex in the years ahead. At least the town will get tax dollars from this thing and maybe amherst can have a public pool again.

  • Pete
    January 18, 2010 - 10:45

    Frank, put down that large triple triple and give your head a shake.......

    Shawn Callaghan built a row of condos on Dickey Street on the former RB Dickey school property last year.

    Of course, because of the market we're in,,,none of them sold and he had to resort to renting them out to recover some of his costs.

    Exactly whats gonna happen on East Victoria Street.

    At least theres no such thing as NIMBY in Amherst. Someone told me today that theres a crematorium downtown. I called down to the funeral home and by the geezus its true. You cana ctually see it from Bam's.

    Only in amherst ...............

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:41

    Condo's for sale in Cumberland co. who , woulda thought . This gives an option for x-patriates who have gone away,done well and want a residence here for full or part time usage. Older locals can now make plans as they sell their home or farm and would still like to own their home in the community but not have the maintenance problems. Younger dual income,childless couples also like to live in these units . Locals will have their friends close by ,many from the Old Historic homes will choose to move to the bldg . The building will be mandated by law to have it's own board and society to manage it .Condo fees are assesed to pay for management ,maintenance and upkeep. Owners have incentive to maintain the bldg to high standards . This is a start to renewal in the area , the huge problem that no one seems to want to address is the deplorable state of many of the buildings in the old town area . Fixing up South Albion is a good move ,however,initiative should be shown to rehabilitate these grand old structures on Victoria . The Banks,the Church ,old courthouse and some smaller buildings are doing great . JMHO

  • Huge
    January 18, 2010 - 10:41

    I'd be happy just to see a deep end in the gene pool around here

  • Chaz
    January 18, 2010 - 10:35

    I am truly Dissappointed. Good Luck selling these Condo's. I am sure People are lining up already. What a view they'll have...

    Too Bad...