MONCTON – ML Rentals Ltd. can move forward with its plan to build a 32-unit apartment building downtown after City Council passed second and third reading of a by-law to rezone a part of the property Monday.
The four-storey building will be built on three vacant lots with access from Archibald and Victoria Streets. The rezoning of 69-71 Archibald Street from a secondary business district to urban residential will accommodate this development.
The building’s small parking lot for five cars will face Archibald street. It will also lead to an underground parking space for 21 cars. All the units in the apartment building will have balconies.
ML Rentals President Julien LeBlanc said the momentum in downtown Moncton “gave us the green light for sure.” The new building will add to the 100 units ML Rentals already owns in the area.
FiveFive Queen, the events centre, everything else that’s going on, the Hyatt Hotel…there’s a lot of momentum going on downtown right now,” said LeBlanc.
The new building on 170 Victoria Street will target professionals working downtown, or retired people who want to live in the city’s core and walk everywhere.
“It’s going to be high-end finishes, and rents are going to vary between $1,400 to $2,500, probably,” he said.
Councillor Charles Leger said he’s “very much in favour of this type of development,” which fits in the city’s vision for its downtown.
Councillor Paulette Theriault also supported the development, saying “we need this type of building downtown.”
The proposal was reviewed by the Planning Advisory Committee, which in December recommended the rezoning take place.
But the public hearing Monday night came with notes from CN, which doesn’t object the rezoning, but has asked ML Rentals to provide a noise study subject to CN Rail’s review and acceptance. CN said if the study recommends mitigations to reduce the level of noise for future residents, CN would expect those to be required by the city as part of the project approval.
CN indicated that it will also reach out for legal counsel to see what options are there for registering a noise caveat on the properties.
LeBlanc, who said he has properties closer to the railway than the new apartment building, indicated noise wouldn’t be a problem.
The city council report also notes that the two lots facing Victoria Street are flagged in the land gazette because they were contaminated by a leaking oil tank in 2010.
While a Record of Site Condition confirms the contaminated soil and groundwater was remediated to appropriate and approved residential standards, the report noted that there could still be a chance that contamination can be encountered during excavation because some of it was under the concrete floor.
The plans will have to meet all Building Inspection and Engineering requirements before it can get a building permit.