Fifth Wheel development done with vision: Losani

By Mike Williscraft

Parking, traffic patterns and density were just a few of the key issues reviewed at last Tuesday’s (Jan. 28) public meeting regarding the proposed development at the former Fifth Wheel truck stop site.

After amendments, the plan for the North Service Road property just east of Casablanca Boulevard includes 1,276 units in six hi-rise buildings of varying heights (two 12-storey, two 14-storey, an 18- and 22-storey), 36 2.5 storey townhomes, nearly 1,850 parking spaces, and 6,900 sq ft. of commercial employment space facing the service road.

While the previous meeting for this project drew a capacity crowd at town hal which necessitated doors being locked to insure the fire capacity was adhered to, only about 40 residents attended this session.

Despite the smaller crowd many of the same themes were touched on by the public and members of Grimsby Planning Committee.

For Grimsby resident Garth Stevenson, while he believes the writing is on the wall, he questions the need.

“Mr. Losani gets what he wants, so why bother. But I fail to understand why the development requires buildings as high as 18 storeys?” said Stevenson.

Planning consultant for project developer Losani Homes David Aston said the height allows for more parkland, more waterfront access and is permitted under intensification and brownfield development guidelines.

The units in the condo buildings will range from 430 sq ft to 1,100 sq ft noted Aston and unlike other hi-rises in the area, these building will feature escarpment views.

“(The south side) will have full balcony and full facade design. I live on the escarpment and I am looking forward to celebrating those views,” said Fred Losani, CEO of Losani Homes.

Next steps for the project will be as an agenda item, with a staff recommendation, on the project at an upcoming Planning Committee meeting – or committee of the whole depending on council’s implementation of that new meeting format. No timeline is set.

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