Work expected to begin soon on vacant downtown Charlottetown property

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CHARLOTTETOWN – The big hole at the corner of Prince and Grafton streets should start filling up very soon.

The big hole at the corner of Prince and Grafton streets should start filling up very soon.

It's the site of a new apartment/condominium building and has sat completed excavated for the better part of two years.

The developer wants to start as soon as possible but the project may come back to city council for what amounts to a very minor design change with the ramp that leads into the underground parking garage.

The developer does have a permit to start foundation work but is waiting for the city to give the go-ahead on the ramp change.,

In October, council passed a resolution authorizing the public works department to fill the large hole if construction didn't get underway soon.

The area, which is still fenced off, was excavated two years ago. The original developers eventually backed off intentions to build on the site but interest started building again in the last few months with more than one developer looking at the property.

The city has been reluctant to step in and fill the hole because that would be seen as a disincentive to develop a prominent corner in the downtown core. Excavating the property is estimated to cost in the $30,000 to $40,000 area and even if the city ordered the hole filled it would be done at the developer's expense.

The project is slightly behind schedule as the current developer had hoped to lay the foundation in November.

The building is supposed to feature some ground-floor retail space as well as a few floors of apartments or condos.

Coun. Rob Lantz, chairman of the planning and heritage committees, has seen the concept drawings and gave it a thumbs-up.

"It's a nice concept. We worked with the architect with the project to have it designed in accordance with our 500 Lots development standards (and) that was before those standards came into effect,'' Lantz said. "It was nice that they were willing to work with us and come up with a nice result. They did. It's a great project.''

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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