At least 120 people looking to rent an apartment in the city of
St. John’s will have more options once a new building goes up on Topsail Road.
City council approved an application Monday by Killam Properties to construct a six-storey apartment building at 485 Topsail Rd. — directly across from Lawton’s Drugs.
Coun. Tom Hann said this is only the third apartment building in the works for St. John’s since the early 1990s and it’s desperately needed to meet housing demands. He said there is an apartment building under construction in Pleasantville and another that’s been approved in principle for Empire Avenue.
Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff said it’s her recollection that it’s been a couple of decades since there was an apartment building constructed in the city.
“It’s about 20 years since we’ve had any new ones and, in fact, we’ve lost a lot, ones that have been turned into condominiums,” said Duff, who chaired the meeting Monday in Mayor Dennis O’Keefe’s absence.
“I think this is a good project simply because there is a great need in the city for apartment units,” said Hann.
In response to a question by Coun. Sheilagh O’Leary about the price range, Hann said it’s his understanding apartments will be in the $1,000-$1,200 a month range.
Hann, chairman of the city’s planning and development committee, told council the project meets the city’s regulations and the land will not have to be rezoned, and a public meeting to receive feedback from the community will not have to be held.
Hann said there have been other applications submitted to the city for that area that didn’t proceed, and there have been concerns expressed by residents in the past.
“Given the zoning it does fit all the requirements, and therefore the development committee is recommending approval. I know the ward councillor wants to have something to say, because I think we need to talk to residents on Holbrook Avenue because, with the last two applications, I think there were some concerns, so there has to be some discussion between the developer and the residents,” said Hann.