Community council to discuss redevelopment of Halifax heritage house

·2 min read
The Dr. James Doull House near the corner of Tower Road and Inglis Street was built in 1873.
The Dr. James Doull House near the corner of Tower Road and Inglis Street was built in 1873.

(Halifax Regional Municipality - image credit)

A redevelopment proposal for a heritage property at 1029 Tower Rd. will get first reading by the Halifax and West Community Council Tuesday night.

The project involves repositioning what's known as the Dr. James Doull House, built in 1873.

The building will be put on a new foundation facing Tower Road. It currently faces Inglis Street.

Municipal council approved the plans to move the house and remove a newer addition on the side at a meeting in November.

The developer, Stephan Fent, plans to have a coffee shop on the ground level of the heritage building, as well as residential units in the basement and second floor.

The development agreement is for the construction of a three-storey building with eight more units behind the heritage property. Zzap Consulting is the company designing the project.

"There will be a landscaped courtyard with pathways between the two buildings," said Connor Wallace, of Zzap Consulting. "There will be a variety of one- and two-bedroom units in both buildings."

Original plan would have seen home demolished

In 2017, the developer applied to demolish the Dr. James Doull House. But following a public information meeting in January 2020, the owner applied for a development agreement that would preserve the heritage building.

The construction of a multi-unit building and a commercial space is not allowed under the current zoning rules. But there is a policy that permits property owners to apply for a development agreement in order to encourage the conservation of heritage buildings.

According to HRM planners, the proposed development for 1029 Tower Rd. "represents appropriate infill that will be compatible with the heritage character of the property and the surrounding area."

The Heritage Advisory Committee is recommending the project be approved. If the Halifax and West Community Council votes in favour of the first reading, a public hearing will be held in March.