News / Halifax

Planners for central Dartmouth development want to create ‘sustainable urban living’

Garden View part of Main Street’s revitalization plan that is now in the works.

One of the artist's renderings of the proposed Garden View development for central Dartmouth.

Handout

One of the artist's renderings of the proposed Garden View development for central Dartmouth.

A new development is looking to provide affordable housing for central Dartmouth.

The first midrise project under Main Street’s revitalization plan is currently in the works. The development – called Garden View – will aim to provide housing to Halifax Regional Municipality residents such as seniors and students, among other tenants.

“To my understanding, it’s strip-mall heaven right now,” Patrick Crabbe said of central Dartmouth.

Crabbe is a project coordinator at Atlantic WoodWORKS – a program which facilitates wood use as well as non-residental and multi-family construction in Atlantic Canada. He’s working with the developer, Greg Fong, and the architect, Tom Emodi, throughout the process. The bottom floor of the building will be commercial, while the others will be designed for people to live in.

“It’s kind of tackling two things: it’s going to provide mixed use, multi-residential living,” said Crabbe. “That’s really why it’s gonna be so great to this area.”

Another artist rendering.

Handout

Another artist rendering.

The Reinventing Main Street initiative is a 20-year plan, and one Crabbe feels can help build a community of people of mixed ages and incomes.

“You may not even have to get in your car and drive,” he said. “All the services and amenities can be provided in that smaller area.”

Crabbe said while there are six-storey buildings in the downtown Halifax area, this one will use “dimension lumber” rather than the older post and beam method. According to 2010 building guidelines, wood construction is restricted to four storeys.

“But in the 2015 national building code that’s coming through the pipeline, they’ve increased the height allowance to six storeys,” said Crabbe. In this way, he added, the design is “ahead of the curve.”

“Wood is a renewable and sustainable building material,” he said.

Garden View is currently in the design phase, and the developers have received their planning agreement from the city.

“It really is a form of sustainable urban living,” said Crabbe.

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