A new four-storey mixed-use apartment and commercial complex proposed for the Cathedral neighbourhood has some who work and live in the area wonder whether the building would be the right fit.
The proposal at the corner of 13th Avenue and Elphinstone Street calls for 29 apartments along with space on the ground floor for retail.
Regina’s planning commission will discuss the plan on Wednesday afternoon. Theresa Walter intends to be there. She lives just a few doors down from the proposal site.
“I am against it. I don’t believe it fits the neighbourhood,” she said.
One of her main concerns is the height of the building, simply calling it too tall. Walter, who sits on the Cathedral Area Community Association, is also worried about traffic congestion and safety considering the number of young kids who will frequent the neighbourhood once the new Connaught School is built across the street.
“I’m not opposed to development, but I just don’t think that this type of building is suitable right on that corner in the Cathedral neighbourhood,” she said, adding the building would be out of character where it’s proposed to be constructed.
Some business owners in the area also question what would happen to the face of Cathedral if more and more old buildings are torn down instead of renovated, replaced instead with new buildings.
“The old architecture, a lot of the old character that you’ll find, we don’t see in the newer builds. Everybody here seems to want this new pre-fab kind of cookie cutter architecture and there’s just no reverence for history,” said this tattoo shop owner.
Through a public consultation, the city received 30 responses from residents who are completely opposed to the complex. A total of 19 support it, while an additional 30 would support it as well, but only if changes were made.
Administration is recommending the development go ahead, believing it fits into the city’s overall growth master plan entitled Design Regina: The Official Community Plan. City staff think the development would enhance the vibrancy of this particular location, which a report called an important intersection within the community.
The report also lists a number of other buildings in Cathedral of similar height to the proposed mixed-use building.
Those in support say the development will create more places to live, boost the economy and upgrade what is currently an unpleasant building on site.
As for Walter, she said she’ll be at the planning commission meeting and a future city council meeting, along with others who are against the project, hoping to sway councillors and the mayor from approving the idea.