Six-storey building plan for Churchill Square going to a public meeting

Six-storey building plan for Churchill Square going to a public meeting

St. John's city council has voted to send a proposal to build a six-storey structure on the site of a long-empty grocery store in Churchill Square to a public meeting.

The building, which was once a SaveEasy grocery store, is owned by Loblaws. KMK Properties is proposing a mixed-use building at 43-53 Rowan St., commercial use on the ground floor and 78 residential apartments on the top five.

The proposal also calls for 40 underground parking spaces and the use of 80 spaces within the Churchill Square area.

The developer's plan was first submitted to the city in 2018.

Building vacant for 7 years

Even as new businesses have moved into Churchill Square, and others have returned after flooding forced their relocation in early 2017, the large SaveEasy site has remained vacant since the grocery store closed in 2012.

Archival photos of St. John's were posted on the building's exterior in order to improve the area, but Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O'Leary — who has pushed for improvements in Churchill Square, including the photos — said in 2016 the city couldn't do much to force the building's owners to use the space if property taxes were paid and inspections passed.

A date has not been set yet for the public meeting.

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