Skye Halifax saw its share of lovers and haters at Thursday night’s public input session at Dalhousie University.
“It feels like too much in one spot and I don’t think the market is going to support that,” said Halifax resident Lisa Roberts.
Paul MacKinnon, with the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, said while they’re pro-development, they’re against this one since it is so contrary to HRMbyDesign.
“We still believe in HRMbyDesign and we need to see this through,” he said.
Supports argued a 400-unit residential/commercial/hotel project is just what Halifax needs to revitalize downtown.
“I see a great deal of good that could come from this,” said Dave Belt, with the Seaport Farmers Market. “I think it’s a spectacularly beautiful design.”
Skye Halifax is the 48-storey twin tower proposed development proposed for 1591 Granville St. It’s United Gulf’s revised development after the‘twisted sisters’ fell through.
In February, HRM staff recommended council reject the proposal because it’s over twice the allowable height allowance for the area and would encroach upon the sightline from the Citadel to the harbour and the sky from the ramparts.
But council went against the recommendation under Policy 89, which allows for taller buildings if it’s for the public good. Skye is in the review process which will include another staff report and recommendation to council and a public hearing.
Jennifer Tsang, a consultant for United Gulf, told the crowd of about 80 people the building would produce $6 million a year in property taxes to HRM and the people who live there would spend $16 to $20 million on goods and services in the area.
“We think the old and new can coexist,” Tsang said,
As for the Citadel sightlines, she asked the crowd how often they actually go to the Citadel.
“What’s the rule for? Is it to benefit the tourists?”