The core of Meaford's downtown business area could look very different if a proposed redevelopment of buildings located at 35 to 47 Sykes Street is implemented.

A recently submitted development application posted in the municipal website suggests that the building that currently houses the Simply Unique floral and gift shop and a wool and fabric shop could be torn down in favour of a five floor mixed-use commerical and residential building. The proposed development – which also includes a completely new structure on the former Canadian Tire property which is located behind the Sykes Street building - would include approximately 90 residential units as well as underground parking.

In order for the proposal to become a reality, property owner Lino Toncic will first need to secure an ammendment to Meaford's Official Plan in order to remove height restrictions that would currently prohibit the construction of a five storey building in the downtown core. Current regulations limit structures in the area to three storeys.

“The purpose of the proposed Official Plan Amendment is to allow an increased building height on the lands. The Official Plan currently restricts the maximum height in this area to four storeys. Five storeys are proposed. The Zoning By-law Amendment requests an associated increase in the maximum permitted height and would increase the height permitted from 11 metres to 17 metres,” said the municipal Planning Department in notes included with the online posting of the documents. “The development proposed on the subject lands is for a combined commercial/residential building with underground parking.  The ground floor commercial space is proposed at approximately 624 square metres. A total of 52 residential units are proposed on the 2nd to 5th floors. The subject development is part of a larger redevelopment proposal that includes another commercial-residential development fronting onto Nelson Street. Access to the underground parking associated with the subject proposal will be via the Nelson Street development component.”

The century-old Sykes Street building that would be torn down in order to build the new structure has been described in the past by Meaford's Director of Planning and Building, Rob Armstrong, as having significant structural challenges making it a candidate for significant redevelopment

For those interested in learning more, or expressing their views on the proposed redevelopment, a public meeting will be held early in the new year, likely in February.

Documents relating to this redevelopment proposal can be found on the municipal website by clicking here.