Developer wants to put 24 storey's across the street from city hall - matches the 23 storeys already approved on the north side of John Street.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 9th, 2018


This story has been upgraded since it was originally published.

If you were uncomfortable with the development planned for the NE corner of Brant and James – opposite city hall – get used to the application that has been submitted to the city for 409 Brant. That is the former site of Elizabeth Interiors on the SE corner of Brant and James .

Revenue properties rendering

Proposed development for 409 Brant – former site of Elizabeth Interiors – it ain’t pretty.

Their application is for a 24 storey tower.

The provincial Planning Act requires the city to process every application.

A department that has been run close to ragged with the applications that are being submitted, nine in December and at least one more since then, has to process whatever comes in the door .

The application is for a 24-storey building at the South East corner of Brant & James, encompassing the Elizabeth Interiors site up to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and East to John St.
The proposal calls for incorporating the Bake Shoppe building, as well as the Albert L. Schmid Jeweller, Watch and Clockmaker building facing John Street into the design.

Rendering with Bake Shop

The developer has kept the cupcake shop in the design. Not certain that it will be Kellys.

The purpose of the application is to amend the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw to permit a 24 storey building, including 23 stories of residential and a one storey roof top amenity area.

The proposed building would include:

597 square metres of ground floor commercial and 227 residential units, five levels of underground parking with car access from John Street

Commercial units with front windows facing onto Brant Street, James Street and John Street.

There will be a public meeting – date not known yet.  Get there early – the room will be packed.

The applicant is Reserve properties, a Toronto based developer.

The developer’s planner is Glen Wellings who delegated for the Carriage Gate project.

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11 comments to Developer wants to put 24 storey’s across the street from city hall – matches the 23 storeys already approved on the north side of John Street.

  • Bernstein

    Twenty four stories isn’t surprising to me, given what has been virtually approved for across the street. I am not terribly bothered by the height. 23 stories across the street, at an important T intersection identified by the new OP as a special or different area compared to the rest of Brant (12 stories).

    But, and it’s a big but, the proposed building is absolutely terrible looking. The City planners have recommended increased height on the basis that it allows you to have a more attractive building that is set back from the podium. This is a large unattractive and uninteresting building as shown. The interface with Kelly’s looks like an afterthought.

    I can’t see the planners recommending approval of the application as it is. It will be interesting to see if they can negotiate something better with the developer. Hopefully something more substantial than the little alcove at Brant and James on the 421 development. This one needs relatively substantial public space at the corner of Brant and James, but also over to the new path being constructed beside Kelly’s.

  • Susie

    One comment to take heed on was from Bob the Builder stating that the Councillors have the upper hand over the Planners, but it appears they are all in cahoots together with majority votes. I do believe that both the Planners and Councillors have been involved for years in the making of the OP with their names documented somewhere in the minutes of their meetings, therefore now having to hold to their words to the “unnecessary” intensification. I recommend that the Primary growth site and the Secondary growth site, be reversed! The Secondary site with the 407, 403, GO station, and roads that have more than two lanes and can be expanded (Fairview, Plains Rd, etc.) should be the Primary Growth Site, NOT the downtown with a bus station only, and grid lock on the roads due to no chance of widening the roads, no industry or major employment downtown, etc. Another comment, of closing schools in one hand, and intensifying the population in the other hand, requires a more indepth thought to this whole OP for the next 25 years, before it is too late! Guess home schooling is what is in the next chapter??

  • Joseph Gaetan

    If anyone is surprised at this, they were sleeping under a rock. Could this be the same Sir Glenn, the bard in shining armor who rode in on his trusty steed, not so long ago, to out those dastardly special interest peasants opposed to loftier goals. Fear not fellow citizens, “Hell is empty and all the devils are here. Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none”. These violent delights have violent ends”. Sir, “Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” But, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”
    To the intrepid citizens of Burlington, fear not, “The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief.”

  • Glenda D

    Burlington….how sad….what made Burlington a great city is soon to be lost….city planner is a joke.

  • Steve Atkinson

    Wait a second. Why do we need densification when the Halton District School Board, Director Miller, Leah Reynolds with help from Marianne Meed Ward, and Trustees , successfully closed two Burlington High Schools (including daycare) using data showing that Burlingtons’ population is shrinking? Will the condo units be 20 floors of empty rooms? Where will we find the people to fill these units? Maybe we can pay people from growing communities to fill our shrinking city and empty high rises. Because the school board data must be accurate, I mean we just decimated 2 school communities based on that data. I would hate to think that people would
    ( GASP! ) manipulate said data for their own purposes.

  • Stephen White

    “It ain’t pretty”. Wow…what an understatement!!

    Good architecture, like good art, should be visually appealing to the senses. It should blend with the surroundings, and not be overpowering or obtrusive. This thing is not only bland, monotonous and boring but adds nothing to the character of the downtown core.

    If the spineless horde on Council and our Planning Department insist on ramming their intensification agenda down our damn throats then for heaven’s sake at least insist on building developments that are original, unique and visually appealing. This thing looks like it was crafted in North Korea! Kim Jong-un would be proud!!

  • Gary Scobie

    Absolutely no surprise here as to the application, the height requested and the planner engaged.

  • Penny

    I remember staff at the January 23rd meeting telling residents that if they didn’t allow tall buildings developers would build shorter squat buildings. Well the artist rendition of this proposed building is a tall, building, not attractive to the eye or the streetscape. Is the brick on the bottom 3 levels supposed to represent keeping “the character” of Brant Street.

    Residents need to call, and email all councillors and the mayor. If this is ‘hearing’ what residents want I would not like to see what is coming forward. Council should be encouraged to NOT ratify the 421 Brant Street proposal. This would definitely slow down the process for both of the Brant Street Applications.

    Council and staff need to think carefully as ECoB will appeal the 421 Brant Street development if it is allowed to proceed. Does the City want to fight the residents on behalf of the developer, or fight the developer on behalf of the residents. One way or another the City will be going to the OMB.

    It is sad to think that the Council that is elected to represent the residents would think this would be okay.

  • P. E. Nash

    Overintensification at its worst! Will the 35 delegations that appeared on Jan. 23 have any impact on Planning Department review of this application? Hope they were listening to the residents of Burlington.

  • These buildings are not popping out of the blue, they are the result of a direction that has been years in the making. It was obvious in 2014 that this was the direction. Craven loves saying the New OP was 6 years in the making. People need to stop pretending that the developers are dreaming these things up with no support from Council and staff, they have support.

    The problem is that you have to see this problem down the tracks and make motions to stop it, well before these applications come flying in.

    This will not stop, every corner of Burlingtion has been marked for these giant towers. The staff believe in it and the Council supports it.

  • Brian Jones

    I was at the meetings and remember our planner stating 17 storeys. At the time it i heard whispers “oh yeah”. Well the floofgates are open. Planners and Council (majority) is to blame. Downtown will be no more.