Demolition begins on long-delayed building project in Kingston’s Williamsville neighbourhood

Click to play video: 'Two residential apartment buildings will rise at the gateway to downtown Kingston' Two residential apartment buildings will rise at the gateway to downtown Kingston
After several years of delays, demolition work has now begun at the corner of Princess Street and University Avenue in the city's midtown – Jan 9, 2019

Two residential apartment buildings will rise near the gateway to Kingston’s downtown at the corner of Princess Street and University Avenue.

Delayed nearly four years, Podium Developments has started demolition work on the University Suites project.

“If everything goes to plan, we will start construction this spring and hope to deliver the first product at the 333 University Ave. project in May of 2021,” said Neil Murray, development manager at the Toronto-based Podium Developments.

READ MORE: Centennial Drive, Cataraqui River crossing included in Kingston’s 2019 construction projects

“This passed unanimously, both at planning committee and at council. It was contested at the Ontario Municipal Board, which tied it up for three years,” explained Coun. Jim Neill, who represents Williamsville where the project will be built.

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The two 10-storey towers will add to the ongoing revitalization of the Williamsville corridor and the gateway to Kingston’s downtown.

“I think it’s very unique. Here, we have so many vacant lots. We can build — tastefully, I think — some good-looking buildings that will enhance the community,” added Neill.

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The glass, steel and brick buildings will contain approximately 400 rental units, ranging from bachelor apartments to one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units suitable for families and multi-users, including university students.

“Above the first four storeys, we have set back. That is to minimize the impact, the visual impact and aesthetics on Princess Street. And a lot of that came from recommendations from the city, and we think the end result is fantastic,” said Murray.

There will be commercial space at street level and underground parking.

According to Neill, the new rental units will put a small dent in Kingston’s vacancy rate, the lowest in Ontario.

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