Developer hopes to minimize noise, dust from downtown Halifax project

A Halifax developer told a neighbourhood meeting Wednesday night he is already taking steps to try to minimize the impact of his construction project in the Spring Garden Road area.

Banc Developments expects to begin excavation of a Clyde Street parking lot in April. The company will spend the next three years constructing the Margaretta building on the site.

The nine-storey building will have commercial space on the ground floor and 147 residential units.

The developer is finalizing what's called a construction mitigation plan with the municipality.

It has already agreed to some added conditions that are not required such as rodent control and washing some properties when the construction wraps up.

"We're not going to make everyone happy," said Alex Halef, with Banc Developments. "But it's our goal to listen and try to figure out how we can do something."

The adjacent residential area of Schmidtville has already endured years of construction activity for the Mary Anne building and the Halifax Central Library. With the new project homeowners are worried about more truck traffic, limited parking and blasting.  

Blasting and parking worries

Lillian Breckenridge lives directly across the street from the latest site.

"My house is over 150 years old," said Breckenridge. "Is it going to withstand these blasts?"

Other residents want more signs to indicate where shoppers and visitors can access underground parking. Many homes in the area don't have driveways and homeowners want to avoid cars illegally parking in the permit-only spots in front of their homes.

"There's tonnes of underground parking but people aren't aware," said Joanne Corbett, a Birmingham Street resident.

"And increased enforcement of the permit spots would help us through the construction phase. "

The local councillor, Waye Mason, told the residents that he has already asked for increased parking enforcement for the area.

Mason believes the new construction mitigation plans will reduce the number of construction issues.

"We've made a lot of progress so you won't see sidewalks closed off for years," said Mason.

But the councillor does want to make rodent control and property cleaning mandatory when the construction mitigation rules are updated in the next couple of months.