A proposed apartment building project next to Centennial Park in Moncton has left some nearby residents concerned about its impact on the park.
A developer is hoping to build 11 residential and commercial buildings on the 50-acre property that borders the northern edge of the park.
Proposed by C.G. Group on behalf of Entreprises Mapoma Ltee, the project would include nine six-storey apartment buildings with a total of 940 units, a stand-alone restaurant and a two-storey building for office and retail space.
The buildings would be accessed from Millennium Boulevard with surface parking lots surrounding them.
The 94-hectare community park is located just a few kilometres west of the city's downtown area and is beloved by many in the community for its activities, including hiking trails, a splash park, a zip-line course and lawn bowling club.
A community group is opposed to the development and believes there are better — and more creative — ways to make use of the space.
"You want a place where people want to be ... this would be a prime spot for something that's a little more creative, a little bit more thoughtful, that's integrated, so you don't notice it from the park," Erik Gingles, founder of the group Friends of Centennial Park, told Information Morning Moncton.
Gingles said the land should contribute to what the park already offers, by adding restaurants, cafés and small grocery stores.
"So you don't feel like you're losing something, but you feel like you're gaining something," he said
He said he considers the current plan an easy way out.
Gingles said he's not opposed to that space being developed in some way but suggested making the apartment buildings three storeys instead of six, so they aren't so visible from the road.
He's also concerned about the amount of traffic the development will create for the area.
The proposed project lot is privately owned and requires a conditional use permit before it can move forward.
Moncton Ward 2 Coun. Daniel Bourgeois declined an interview with CBC News to talk about the project.
It will be presented to the city's planning advisory committee on July 28.