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Proposed Queen Parkade redevelopment opens for public feedback

After more than 40 years, the Queen Parkade in Charlottetown is in need of a major repair job, city staff say. (Alex MacIsaac/CBC - image credit)
After more than 40 years, the Queen Parkade in Charlottetown is in need of a major repair job, city staff say. (Alex MacIsaac/CBC - image credit)

The City of Charlottetown wants to hear from the public about a proposed redevelopment of a downtown parkade and some of the land around it.

If it goes through, the Queen Parkade would be reinforced. It would also expand onto land owned by the developer, TweelCo Properties.

That expansion would add parking spaces, residential units and commercial space, according to the proposal presented to city council on Jan. 16.

Coun. Norman Beck says it's the kind of development the city would like to see downtown.

"As everyone is aware, we're looking to increase density in the downtown core," Beck said.

"We're always looking at opportunities to build upon the beautiful downtown that we have here in Charlottetown, and we thought that this was an opportunity."

Projects downtown often are multi-use and this proposal fits that bill, Beck said. The city said any development there must have the same amount of parking or more.

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The development would extend the back of the parkade to add 145 parking spaces, creating a total of 483. On top of that area, 40 residential units would be built — totalling eight storeys, the plans show.

Coun. Norman Beck says he was impressed by the developer's proposal.
Coun. Norman Beck says he was impressed by the developer's proposal.

Coun. Norman Beck says he was impressed by the developer's proposal. (Alex MacIsaac/CBC)

The expansion would extend onto portions of Great George Street and Fitzroy Street, creating room for retail space on the ground floors.

Because the property is zoned as Downtown Core and Downtown Main Street, it can be used for apartments, bars and restaurants, offices, hotels, retail stores and more.

In its proposal to council, the development team said its goal is to attract long-term commercial, retail and professional tenants.

Now, the city wants feedback from the public about the proposal. Comments can be made by visiting its website. Comments close Feb. 7.

If the project goes forward, Beck said: "This is something people will be very proud of."

On Friday, CBC News reached out to Chris Tweel, owner of TweelCo Properties, but he wasn't available for an interview.

'Time for a major repair job'

The city-owned parkade, built in 1979, is showing wear and tear.

Scott Adams, manager of public works for the city, said the parkade has some structural issues. "It's time for a major repair job on it," he said.

Scott Adams, manager of public works for the city, says the proposal would help increase housing density downtown.
Scott Adams, manager of public works for the city, says the proposal would help increase housing density downtown.

Scott Adams, manager of public works for the city, says the proposal would help increase housing density downtown. (Alex MacIsaac/CBC)

He said it is expected the project would take three years to complete. If it goes forward, he said there is chance construction could begin later this year or early 2025.

"It depends how long it takes to negotiate an agreement and finalize all those terms."

Once public feedback closes in February, staff will present council with those comments and council will decide whether it wants to move forward with the proposal.