An artist’s rendering of the McKenzie Towers project.
While the McKenzie Towers project has faced some considerable delays, developers are now feeling optimistic that construction will begin this summer.
Resland Development Group, which is based in British Columbia, has plans to renovate the historic former McKenzie Seeds building into a mix of residential and commercial space.
"We’ve got a demolition permit so far, but we’ve submitted for the full development permit, and we expect to see that back in the next couple of weeks," said Daryl Carpenter, general manager of Resland Development Group.
Construction was originally expected to begin in 2011 on the 93-condo project. But there were a few unexpected hurdles to cross before the developers could move forward.
"We found some things that weren’t going to work fundamentally, and didn’t want to just go ahead with a project with having mistakes in it," Carpenter said. "You have to revise those things, even if it takes time."
Carpenter said some of the issues were around elevators and underground parking.
"We’re completely relocating the elevators," he said. "We’re building a completely new structure all the way to the top, and that would have two elevators in it, so that’s a big change."
Windows were also a big factor in the delay.
"The windows won’t really change too much from a look point of view on the seventh storey, but mechanically it was an issue ... but that is solved," he said.
When complete, the building on Ninth Street will feature 93 condo units, ranging from studio space to three bedroom units. Carpenter said about half of the condos will be three-bedroom units.
There will be 26 underground parking stalls, along with surface parking.
Carpenter said the company is excited about the project, which would bring more residents to the heart of downtown Brandon.
"We’re going with … complementing the motif of the building right now," he said. "A lot of brick and wood, older style. The natural features of the building are the spectacular views … They’re going to have fantastic views from pretty much every unit."
Last year, Resland cashed in on a tax increment financing grant from the province, which will work with the City of Brandon and the Brandon School Division to help rebate them their property taxes as they develop the historical property.
The provincial tax increment financing grant works by providing Resland with an eight-year investment to help them pay off the incremental increases in education taxes that will be levied on the property as it's redeveloped.
As of July 2011, the McKenzie Seeds building had an assessed value of approximately $1.5 million, however when completed it could boast an assessed value of more than $17 million.
Construction of the project is expected to take between a year to 18 months to complete.
Visit mckenzietowers.ca to view floor plans or to register for a condo.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 3, 2012