“The amendments we have in front of you tonight are a first for Barrie, in that we are proposing to add residential development to a regional retail shopping area,” the Park Place consultant said.
Park Place is looking at residents as well as buyers in its future.
A public meeting was held Tuesday evening on the Official Plan (OP) and rezoning applications needed to allow for 16- and 12-storey towers, with 475 residential and commercial units on the ground floor, and six-storey podiums. with each building, located in the south-end Barrie at 109 Park Place Blvd.
The applications, submitted by North American Development Corp., seek to modify special general commercial zoning provisions to allow for residential development.
“The Park Place village is a regional shopping center,” said Darren Vella of Innovative Planning Solutions, speaking for North America. “So the amendments we have in front of you tonight are a first for Barrie, in that we are proposing to add residential development to a regional commercial area.
“This hasn’t been done in Barrie yet, so we’re thrilled to be the first to bring a new style of mixed-use development to a major regional destination,” Vella added.
“Certainly a first, but probably not a last, given the state of housing demand these days,” Mayor Jeff Lehman said.
North American officials say residential growth will allow Park Place, located at Bayview Drive and Mapleview Drive East, to evolve as a mixed-use area that will support the longevity of what it calls an existing regional retail destination. This demand proposal accommodates residential intensification, high-rise buildings and higher density, for a pedestrian-friendly, transit-supported community, according to North American officials.
No one spoke for or against the proposed OP and zoning changes Tuesday night.
“Like the residents, there’s not a lot of trepidation, (but) a lot of interest and excitement in this new kind of lifestyle arrangement that can be accommodated by this development,” Coun said. . Jim Harris, who represents that part of Barrie.
Harris asked about city-owned green spaces north of the proposed development and how they might relate to the project.
Vella noted that the land was dedicated to the city when the initial Park Place development was registered, 20 acres of which was the park’s contribution for that site. He said this property was part of the old Molson Park, there was a skating pond and trails, so the area was being used.
“If there is an opportunity to work with the city to restore some form of active use for the residents of this development or the citizens of Barrie as a whole, we would certainly be interested in working with the city on this,” Vella said.
Harris then asked if more electric vehicle charging stations were being included as part of the development, to go with some already in the northeast corner of Park Place.
“We’re definitely looking at that as a possibility,” said Aly Hamby of Petroff Partnership Architects.
This property, which is in Park Place, spans 4.9 acres and overlooks three private roads – approximately 200 meters along Park Place Boulevard, approximately 110 meters along South Village Way and 200 meters along Live Eight Way.
The first phase of the development would be 16 stories high, with a six-story podium, commercial premises on the ground floor, 296 residential units and approximately 388 commercial and residential parking spaces.
Its second phase would be 12 stories, also with a six-story podium, commercial premises on the ground floor, 179 residential units and approximately 251 commercial and residential parking spaces.
A ward meeting on these plans was held last February, with about 23 people in attendance, including Ward 8 Councilor, planning staff, North American officials and consultants.
There were questions and comments regarding the integration of residential uses in this area, the potential traffic increase on Mapleview Drive East, the type of units and the timing of their construction.
A public meeting is one of the first steps in Barrie’s planning process.
Now, a staff report to the City Council Planning Committee is due in early 2023 for consideration of the proposed OP amendment and rezoning.
Should council approve these changes, site plan applications would also be required to facilitate the development.