The planning committee with the City of Kingston met Thursday with developers and the public to talk about the future of the Frontenac Mall and the property around it.
Patry Inc. Developments and Bayfield Realty Advisors are working to undertake a large and ambitious redevelopment of the site that holds the Frontenac Mall.
The mall has seen an increase in vacancies over the course of years since opening in the 1960s and now the 9.4-hectare property is slated to potentially become a large-scale mixed residential and commercial property.
The development proposal involves three phases over a space of 25 years, the first of which would involve destroying a portion of the existing mall to make way for a six-storey, 288-rental unit building.
According to the developers, this would take approximately 24 months from start to finish.
Jeff McLaren, councillor for Meadowbrook-Strathcona, had only positive things to say about the development proposal.
“This is the kind of development that we are most looking for. It takes already developed parking space, essentially parking lots, that are underutilized and puts in high-density homes, houses,” said McLaren.
The following two stages, which are in the conceptual phase at this point and dependent on the state of the market at the time, would take over the southwest and northwest corners of the property.
The entire plan involves retaining a portion of the existing mall, including the Food Basics grocery store, and would include a total of approximately 1,600 units.
Though parts of the existing mall will be taken out, some of the tenants will be retained through the remainder of their lease.
“We’ve been working feverishly for the past year, year-and-a-half, to make certain that all of our tenants that are staying are going to be accommodated and are not going to receive any interruptions in services. That’s our goal,” said Gabe Cicconi, director of development and construction for Bayfield Realty Advisors.
At Thursday’s public meeting, Coun. Rob Hutchison raised concerns about amenities for the development but was assured that the plans are in line with the city’s regulations.
When asked about the affordability of the units, a representative of Patry Inc. said the development is open to all varieties of renters and that they will work with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to try and secure funding for affordable units.
The public meeting Thursday was not a matter of decision or recommendation, but simply information. A more fulsome report on the development will come at a later date.