By Mike Williscraft
After sitting vacant for more than two decades, a plan is coming together for a high-profile property in downtown Grimsby.
For some, it was not worth waiting for.
As outlined in a Town of Grimsby planning document, the land at 21-23 Main St. E. – known to many longer-term Grimsby residents as the former Roxy Theatre site – is projected to house 86 1-2 bedroom residential units, with four commercial units on the groundfloor which will front onto Main Street. One of the commercial units will be have a designated restaurant/dining use.
“Vehicular access is proposed via Doran Avenue, and the municipal laneway that extends to the site from Ontario Street,” according to the Notice to Agencies.
As for parking, 98 spots are proposed for residential use, or 1.12 units/condo, with nine for commercial use and 17 for restaurant/dining.
While the Notice to Agencies genrated by the Town’s deputy director of planning, Walter Basic, notes 23 of the 98 total spots will be “below grade” leaving 75 above ground, a Heritage Impact Study submitted to the Town by consultant Golder Associates notes there will be 1.5 levels of underground parking with only 36 parking spaces in an “outdoor parking lot”.
The consultant was hired by Homes By DeSantis.
Many downtown business operators and two Grimsby aldermen were shocked to see the scale of the proposal when shown the elevation map on Monday. None said such a proposal was acceptable mainly due to the major impact such a large building would have in dominating the downtown core.
Traffic in the town’s most congested intersection and parking were also of major concern.
The Heritage Impact Study seems to fly in the face of concensus comments that the proposed structure would drastically impact the downtown core and dominate the landscape.
The study says the building will “Indirectly adversely impact heritge attributes of surrounding heritage properties, but to a minor extent.”
The study also notes the proposal complies with most policies in the Downtown Grimsby Design Guidelines, except height.
The study also claims the new buidling will have a “postive impact” on the sustainability and appreciation of heritage properties in the immediate area.