In a teleconference meeting, Meridian Development Corp. president Karl Miller said his company was approached by Knox United Church nearly seven years ago, seeking solutions to financial issues.
“We worked with them to figure out ways we could generate an ongoing income,” Miller said.
“We entered into an agreement with them that would allow the church to continue on.”
This agreement brought permission for Meridian to develop on part of the church’s land.
The proposal to build a condo has come with a fair amount of backlash, with Tuesday’s meeting mainly addressing deficiencies relative to the city’s Zoning Bylaw 8770.
The deficiencies were first identified in a development permit review last month.
Bertrand Bartake of Kindrachuk Agrey Architecture said the unique ‘L’ shape warrants special reconsideration.
The proposed 112-unit building, which would include a parkade, bistro and office space, would be designed to keep Spadina Crescent pedestrian-friendly and wouldn’t take away from the integrity of Knox United Church, according to Bartake.
“The pointed and gothic elements of the heritage building are highlighted against the light, curvy, flowy architectural language of the proposed development,” Bartake said.
However, Saskatoon Heritage Society president Peggy Sarjeant disagreed. She said regardless of the design, the placement of the proposed building would negatively impact the church.
“Our technical advisor said the following: the lack of space between the new tower and the Knox United Church together with a lack of sunlight will decrease the church’s ability to stay dry and rid itself of ice and snow,” Sarjeant said in the meeting.
She was also concerned with potential damage falling snow and ice from the proposed building would have on the roof of the church.
Meridian and the Saskatoon Heritage Society will be meeting later this month to discuss some of these concerns.
The city’s development appeals board will have a decision on the appeal within 30 days.