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Less office & parking, varied heights proposed for Paradigm on Fairview

View of Paradigm from Fairview.
View of Paradigm from Fairview.

The Molinaro Group are seeking changes to the five 20-storey buildings they will build on Fairview Street, between Walmart and the GO Station. The changes, presented at a public meeting Sept. 26, include varying heights, decreased office /retail space, and parking.

In 2008, the Ontario Municipal Board granted the previous owner of the site permission to build up to 5 buildings of 17 storeys (20 with LEED certification).

One of the changes requested is to reduce the height of the two buildings facing Fairview to 18 storeys, and add that height to the middle building in the back, along the tracks, so it would increase from 20 to 24 storeys. Total residential units would increase from 921 to 929. The units will be condominiums.

The Molinaro Group is also proposing a reduction in retail from 2,000 to 1,600 square metres, and a reduction in office space from 9,000 to just under 3,000 square metres.

The final change is a reduction in overall parking by 336 spaces, including a reduction from 1.25 spaces for each two-bedroom unit to 1 space, and from .25 visitor spaces per unit to .18, as well as a decrease in office/retail parking.

The proposed changes will go back to the OMB for approval.

Marketed as Paradigm, sales on the first building will begin in November, with construction expected to start in June 2014.

The project will be phased, with the back buildings started first, and the final two buildings fronting on to Fairview expected within five to seven years.

View the powerpoint from the meeting here

My Take: This type of intensification belongs here – next to a transit hub, which allows more people to use the bus or GO train rather than cars, and next to a major retail outlet, where people can meet their day-to-day shopping needs. I was hoping for more office space (although it was not a requirement of the original OMB decision). Burlington sorely needs commercial tax revenue which is higher than residential taxes, and costs less to service than residential development. However, I am working with the Molinaro Group and the Burlington Economic Development Corporation to fill the office space, and if there is a market the Molinaros will build extra to suit.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

What's your take?