Changing Mount Cashel Road condo project not an option: developer

Daniel MacEachern
Published on June 10, 2014
Neighbouring residents have many concerns about a planned development on this site on Mount Cashel Road in St. John’s.

— Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

The developer behind townhouse condos planned for Mount Cashel Road says changing the plans would make the project less feasible.

St. John’s city council approved rezoning for the east-end project over the objections of the condos’ future neighbours Monday

 Justin Ladha, vice-president of KMK Capital, said opposition to the project is vocal, but common to any development.

“It’s noisy opposition, but from our experience, it’s not a lot,” he said Tuesday. “There is opposition, there is loud opposition, but it’s not high in numbers.”

Council approval was not unanimous, with councillors Bernard Davis and Art Puddister siding with residents concerned about density, traffic and snowclearing. Coun. Dave Lane also voted against the project, citing the fact city staff said KMK was approach­ed about reducing the size of the 27-unit development by four units, but refused.

Ladha said the company has considered several different de­signs for the project, but reducing the number of units in the development would drive up the price of each unit.

“The first thing we looked at is, can we make this feasible by changing it, reducing the scope, doing a different configuration, something that would appease everybody, because it’s always better to appease everybody if you can. And delay costs us money,” he said.

“We looked at reducing density, we looked at different configurations, and at the end of the day, all that would have done is driven the price of those houses to the point where it would be unaffordable for a larger portion of the market. The goal of this development is to provide affordable housing for people who want to live in the centre of the city.”

With the rezoning approved, Ladha said KMK will submit  engineering drawings to the city for review and development approval, and hopes to begin building homes this fall, with construction expected to take between a year and 18 months.

Twitter: @TelegramDaniel