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27-storey tower proposed for Kerr and Speers

Town of Oakville
Town of Oakville

The owner of a seven-storey apartment building at 50 Speers Rd. is seeking permission to tear it down and replace it with a 27-storey building.

A town has received a proposal to redevelop the property to add 20 storeys and increase the number of units by more than five times.

The existing rental building, located on the south side of Speers Road just east of Kerr Street, has 59 units.

Hellberg Properties Ltd. is asking for official plan and zoning amendments to allow 314 units in a 27-storey building that would include a six-storey podium and townhouses on the ground level.

Rental apartments ranging from studios to three-bedroom units are planned for the new building. Parking for one car and one bike are proposed for each unit.

An amendment to the official plan is necessary to increase the property's maximum density from 185 to 755 units per site hectare.

Ward 2 councillor Cathy Duddeck says both neighbourhood residents and building tenants expressed concerns with the plan during an information session.

She is particularly worried about long-term tenants who will be displaced from their affordable units and forced to seek other places to live. According to a property management company website, monthly rents in the building range from $1,350 for a bachelor apartment to $1,800 for a two-bedroom.

"That has to be my overriding concern right now," said Duddeck. "There are some people who have lived there for over 20 years."

She said that the building owner has promised to compensate uprooted residents based on the years they have lived in the building.

Duddeck has also heard opposition to the plan from the West River Residents Association. "Their thoughts and views have to be taken into account definitely, because they know the area best."

However, she said the property's proximity to nearby tall buildings will make it difficult to simply argue against the development based on its height. 

"I think the best we can hope for is looking at the traffic, which is horrendous on that stretch."

In its planning rationale report, the developer notes that the new building will be closer to Speers Road and further from the single-family homes backing onto the property on Bartos Drive.

It also argues that the property is in the Kerr Village growth area, near the Food Basics plaza, where developers want to build 11 new buildings, including eight residential towers of up to 26 storeys.

Town councillors will decide on that application at their Dec. 5 planning and development meeting.

A public meeting on the 50 Speers Rd. application will be scheduled in the future.

Full details on the application can be found here.