‘Absolutely fantastic’ condo, commercial development approved for Ferry Street ‘eye-sore’

An “eye-sore” property on Ferry Street will be home of an eight-storey, 77-unit condominium and three-unit commercial development after Niagara Falls city council granted zoning amendment approvals Tuesday.

“I just want to say what a great development,” said Coun. Ruth-Ann Nieuwesteeg. “That has been an eye-sore for, oh gosh, 20 years, so it looks absolutely fantastic.”

An architect for the applicant, Niagara Midtown Bowling Ltd., said the development is proposed for a “great location” “left undeveloped for many years.”

“There is a big need for residential units in Niagara Falls,” said Giuseppe Colosimo. “It is an enhancement for the community. The only thing it’s going to add is value to the adjacent properties. It’s going to be a super exciting project — a world-class project, from both design and construction methodology.”

The vacant property is on the north side of Ferry Street, between Temperance and Gladstone avenues.

City planner Alexa Cooper said the two properties — 5687 Ferry St. and 5660 Spring St. — have merged on title.

She said the proposal conforms to provincial, regional and local policies.

Council’s approval includes a holding provision requiring the developer to, in part, complete third-party modelling for sanitary services to the satisfaction of staff.

Coun. Lori Lococo said she was “very glad” to see the holding provision because “quite often our residents will say that development can’t be handled by the sanitary sewer.”

She asked staff whether an approved, but separate development across the street at the old Continental Inn has a similar holding provision on it.

Erik Nickel, manager of municipal works, said when third-party modelling is done, the company doing so would have “all of the relevant development data at their disposal.”

“They would look at any existing approvals and make sure that those future flows are also included in the existing flows, to make sure that the sewer system is able to handle it,” he said.

Cooper said setbacks recommended by staff will provide space for fencing and adequately buffer the development from existing residential uses.

Christine Burke, a 26-year Spring Street resident, addressed council about concerns.

“I have in front of me signatures of 16 other residents in my area that oppose this development and the reasons stated were not only concerns about the heights — we are also concerned about the construction, the mess of the construction, the noise of the construction,” she said.

Burke said residents also have parking concerns.

“We’re concerned about the traffic that it’s going to cause, as well as the traffic delays it will cause in our neighbourhood,” she said. “There is also a (development) right on the corner beside the Dairy Queen, so we feel in our neighbourhood … we don’t really need this. I understand that it’s been a vacant property for years and we kind of like it that way.”

For traffic, Cooper said city transportation staff had no concerns as Spring Street would continue to operate with a “satisfactory level of service and (Niagara) Region’s transportation staff had no concerns on Ferry Street.”

The site will contain 105 parking spaces below grade as well as at grade and within the second floor at the rear of the building and each of the 77 condos will have its own parking.

Colosimo said the majority of the building will be pre-fabricated by a local company, limiting noise and construction timelines.


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