St. John’s council rezones land for Virginia Park Plaza

Daniel
Daniel MacEachern
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The redevelopment of Virginia Park Plaza took another step forward Monday night as St. John’s city council voted to rezone the land in question.

The land which housed the former Virginia Park shopping plaza and office complex on Newfoundland Drive was given the go-ahead at Monday afternoon’s St. John’s city council meeting for the development of a proposed two five-story condominium complexes by Regal Realty and developer Bill (William) Mahoney. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

The project — which will see two five-storey condo buildings constructed on the Newfoundland Drive site with commercial and office space available in one of the buildings — had been sent from council to a public meeting last month.

Coun. Dave Lane, who chaired the meeting, said about 15 people attended the session to discuss the redevelopment, which will contain 232 apartment units, most of which are single-occupant units, many of which are expected to cost less than $200,000, said Lane.

“The project rationale from the developer is that they’ll be attractive to the influx of new workers that are coming to the area of Virginia Park, because there’s a long-term facility under construction, the Canadian Forces’ headquarters is being upgraded, and the White Hills industrial park is going to be located (here),” said Lane.

“They expect to have young professionals in these units.”

Lane said neighbourhood residents wanted to know if the buildings would be condominiums or rental units. Lane said the units will be turned over to a property management company.

Bill Mahoney of developer Regal Condominiums said while some buyers might rent their units, the larger demand will be for owner-occupied units, and the property management firm will ensure upkeep and maintenance in any scenario.

“The nice thing about it from my perspective,” said Lane, “is they will have commercial space. It’s a mixed-use building. There was commercial there before, so we’ll see that bring vibrancy back to the community, we hope.”

The amendment to rezone the land received unanimous support from council.

Coun. Danny Breen said the old Virginia Park Plaza “had reached the end of its usefulness” as a commercial operation.

“When it closed, one of the things that was really lost by the community was the services that were provided there: dentist’s office, the convenience store, etc.,” said Breen.

The commercial space will be much appreciated in the neighbourhood, he added.

“The people in the community really missed it when those services moved out of there.”

 

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Canadian Forces

Geographic location: Virginia Park Plaza, White Hills

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Recent comments

  • Anna
    January 14, 2014 - 08:56

    At one time I'd be delighted that there was new development in the City, but after the past two weeks of blackout and "rolling blackouts", if we can't handle current capacity, how are we going to handle another 232 condos? This is only January and wait until all these new hotels planned downtown open.

  • Don Shears
    January 14, 2014 - 08:22

    Awful hard to follow what your writers are "trying" to convey intheir stories. One reference refers to victoria Park then to Virginia Plaza. What is the connection between the two?? Then they are going to construct two condominium buildings and the next paragraph says the buildings will contain 232 "appartment Units". Where is the construction and what is it?? What has happened to accuracy in reporting. Does anyone proof read what must be a Journalism students writings. Or is it that the student should be proofreading the inacurate writings of the experienced writer. So often there are stories like this. I live off Island but know where Virginia Plaxsa is and I also know where victoria Paark is but I have never herd the names interchanged. Please someone "proofread" your work

  • Kristyn Coley
    January 14, 2014 - 06:17

    I hope council keeps in mind that this parking lot is used for access to the playground and baseball field behind the buildings currently there. Hopefully access to these important community facilities will not be lost.

    • Dre
      January 15, 2014 - 13:31

      Parking is less of a priority than Council likes to have us think. There will be 258 parking spaces provided which means if more than 26 of the 232 units have visitors then they'll be parking on the street in front of houses for other people in the neighbourhood. That also assumes that every 1 and 2 bedroom condo will only ever have 1 car... they want you to be single and stay that way! This is apparently more than required by council rules but I would imagine those regulations are designed for houses where there is the chance for people to park in front of the house on the street in the summer. Here there is an extremely small frontage on the street for such a large number of condo-owners to park. If you want to use the ball diamond I would recommend you lace up your walking shoes because you might have to park far away.

    • Tyler
      May 10, 2014 - 18:57

      Yeah, you can reach the park from Drake crescent and Pole Crescent, as well as from the school