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Long-standing development proposal for King’s Wharf nearing final decision

A public hearing will be held in February before council makes a decision

3 min read
caption The King's Wharf development site, as seen from Halifax Harbour. The proposal includes 12 additional mixed-use buildings and two public parks.
Alix Bruch

Harbour East-Marine Drive community council is expected to make a final decision on the development proposal for King’s Wharf after a public hearing is held next month.

The public hearing was scheduled during a community council meeting last Thursday where city staff recommended the development agreement be approved. That public meeting is scheduled for  Feb. 6 at the community council meeting space at Alderney Gate in Dartmouth.

Key aspects of the proposal include 12 mixed-use buildings with up to 1,500 residential units, two public parks, public access to the waterfront, and a second access road, according to a staff report.

The recommendation to approve the development agreement comes almost three years after the initial application was put forward by Fares & Co. Developments Inc.

David Quilichini, project manager and vice-president of Fares & Co., said the changes are better for everyone, including the city.

“We are glad it’s getting going now because it’s going to help downtown Dartmouth as well,” said Quilichini. “A lot of people say that King’s Wharf is a major influence in the regeneration of the area.”

caption A digital rendering of the proposed development of King’s Wharf.
Fares & Co. Developments Inc.

Community council approved a stage one development proposal for King’s Wharf in 2008. Since then, four, 12-storey buildings with 354 residential units and over 100,00 square feet of commercial space have been completed.

The four existing buildings, known as The Anchorage, The Keelson, The Killick, and The Aqua Vista, offer a combination of condos and apartments.

For the next phase, Fares & Co. requested an update to the existing development agreement. This was done in order to reflect changing design trends and market demands.

Among the proposed 12 new buildings are townhouse style units on the waterfront.

“I know one of the concerns is building heights, and we have done our best to preserve views as best we can,” said Quilichini. “Before it would have been these massive buildings in front, but we’ve gone down to point (tall, skinny) towers and townhouses.”

Sam Austin, the councillor for Dartmouth Centre, acknowledged that this isn’t a retrial of the entire development. He said questions about what King’s Wharf will look like have been answered, and all that remains is working out the details.

“Because there is an existing development agreement on the property, I think the key question now is whether it’s an improvement over what they otherwise could build,” said Austin.

About 160 people attended a public information meeting in May 2018. Comments and questions at the time showed a mix of support and concern for the project. Most of the issues raised were related to building height, traffic, parking, harbour infill, and sea level rise.

David Greenwood is a condo owner and current resident living in The Keelson. He enjoys King’s Wharf because of the diversity of people in the community. He is excited to see the area continue to flourish.

He believes that the proposed plan will benefit both residents and businesses alike. He’s ready for less talk and more action.

“My desire is that they get on with it and start building some stuff,” said Greenwood. “The more that they build, the more diverse and larger our community gets.”

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About the author

Alix Bruch

Alix is a journalism student at the University of King's College. She left a career in geology to play soccer professionally in Europe, before...

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