The long-rumoured redevelopment of the old Dominion grocery store in Churchill Square looks to be a reality.
KKM Properties Inc., on behalf of Loblaw Properties Ltd that owns and operates Dominion stores throughout the province, submitted an application to the City of St. John’s for a text amendment to the commercial mixed-use zoning to allow for additional height and density within Churchill Square so it can convert the 43-53 Rowan St. property into a six-storey mixed-use building.
The bottom floor of the building would be used for commercial tenants, with the other five floors allocated to contain 78 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The plan also includes parking for 40 vehicles in an underground garage beneath the building.
“A new building to replace the former Dominion supermarket and dry-cleaners would add new life to Churchill Square,” read documents on the City of St. John’s website.
“The six storeys would make it a landmark building in the neighborhood, with as much presence as the Terrace on the Square building nearby.”
The current requirements for the zoning include a maximum building height of four storeys (15 metres), a floor area ratio of 1.5, and residential density of one dwelling unit per 50 square metres of lot area. The proposed development is seeking respective amendments of six storeys (21.5 metres), floor area ratio of 4.75, and residential density of one unit per 29 square metres of lot area.
City staff have already issued terms of reference for a requested land use assessment report (LUAR) that will detail, among other things, land-use and landscaping, parking needs and snowclearing.
Even though Churchill Square doesn’t have any designation as a heritage area, given its significance to the neighborhood and city as a whole, staff have also recommended that the Built Heritage Experts Panel be consulted for comment. While not binding, the city believes it would help inform council’s decision.
Once the LUAR is completed, it would be submitted to the city, after which a public meeting would be held. Only then will the matter make it before council.
In a blog post written last week, Ward 4 Coun. Ian Froude says he’s open to discussion on the Churchill Square and park.
“It’s a gem in our city, is undergoing evolution, and has much potential so it deserves our attention and efforts,” he wrote.