A new 18-story condominium tower is in the early planning stages for Downtown Guelph.
Fusion Homes confirms that it is in the process of developing plans to put the tower on the northwest corner of Wyndham Street and Wellington Street.
That lot, which totals just under three quarters of an acre, was previously home to a Petro Canada gas station and three detached homes. All those structures were recently removed and a fence put up around the location.
Neal Hallock, director of land development and high rise with Fusion Homes, said the company purchased the property last year.
“We’re going to be doing a high-rise condo there,” Hallock confirmed.
“We acquired it last year off the previous owners. It’s one of the properties that falls under the new downtown zoning by-law that got appealed at the end of last year but has been mostly approved in principle, so it’s poised for us,” he said.
No formal application has yet been submitted with the city, so the timeline for if and when the project comes to fruition remains to be determined.
If and when the application is considered complete, a public meeting will be held as part of the process and more details released.
“Timeline’s imminent. We’ll start the applications this year and get the process moving,” Hallock said.
While no plans have been firmed up, the project will be 18 stories to maximize the location’s potential.
The only remaining location in Downtown Guelph currently zoned for a building of up to 18 stories is the property that currently houses the Guelph Fire Department’s main fire hall, across the road from this project.
While there have been some preliminary discussions at Guelph CIty Council about the possible future of a fire hall at that particular location, there are no plans to move it at this time.
Guelph-based Fusion Homes has completed, or is completing, a number of significant residential projects in Guelph, most notably the Metalworks project on Arthur Street.
Marty Williams, executive director of the Downtown Guelph Business association, said the condominium developments in recent years - four built or nearly completed, two more already approved and now this one - can only help maintain and invigorate a healthy downtown.
Williams said that while there is no hard empirical evidence showing what the residents of those condominiums are spending downtown, common sense says it is a considerable amount.
“You can’t put an exact value on them, but if you’re dancing in the dark, that’s the song I want to dance to,” he said of the high-density residential projects.
“They’re already here. They don’t have to park” and it makes sense they shop and spend money at downtown restaurants, Williams said.