A Moncton company is seeking more time to break ground on a pair of 10-storey towers in Riverview along the Petitcodiac River.
Thrive Properties, formerly Cordova Realty, was given approval by Riverview's town planning committee on April 10, 2019 for the mixed-use structure with a common podium. There were several conditions, including that the company obtain a development permit within three years.
Next week the committee will consider a request to remove the condition.
"Due to several factors, including delays with the sale of the building as well as COVID, the developer recognizes that it will be impossible to meet this condition," a report prepared for the committee states.
The plans were approved as the region saw a surge in residential construction activity during a period of low rental vacancy rates. However, work on the structure with 150 residential units has not started.
John McManaman, Thrive's CEO, posted on Facebook the company is prioritizing construction and leasing of a separate residential building elsewhere in Riverview.
The post was in response to speculation the delay was to assess changes to the riverbank following the partial removal of the causeway upstream. McManaman said that wasn't the case and drilling was done to confirm it would be constructed on bedrock.
The structure would be significantly larger than surrounding low-rise residential or commercial buildings.
Several speakers at a town planning meeting in 2019 suggested it would represent a "fundamental change" to the character of the community of about 20,000. An online petition against the plans had more than 1,000 signatures.
After the plans were approved, Riverview sold the Chocolate River Station building and property to the company for $800,000.
Thrive's plans called for the former fire station which houses a popular beer hall to be demolished. A 2019 report estimated the new 10-storey structure would cost about $32 million to build.
McManaman told CBC in June 2020 that the company expected to start work in 2021.
McManaman, who did not respond to an email requesting an interview Thursday, said in the Facebook post this week that the walking trail between the building and the river will be maintained.
The report to the committee by planner Kirk Brewer says timelines like the one Thrive is seeking to have lifted were generally imposed to prevent land speculation.
The report recommends the committee agree to drop the timeline. The committee will consider the request at its Jan. 12 meeting.