Kingston City Council unanimously passed a motion on Tuesday, Apr. 6, 2021 to endorse the settlement on the proposed Capitol Condos project at 223 Princess Street.
The Capitol Condos project will see a nine-storey condominium building at the former Capitol Movie Theatre in downtown Kingston. Plans, revisions, and conversations have been taking place since the 2015 announcement of a 18-storey highrise at this site.
After much deliberation, IN8, the developer of the residential building proposed for the site, Building Kingston’s Future Inc. and the Frontenac Heritage Foundation signed Minutes of Settlement during the last week of March, 2021. The proposal was put before Council, and after a few brief questions for Paige Agnew, Commissioner of Community Services with the City of Kingston, the motion passed.
Councilor Peter Stroud asked if work had begun on the easement agreement, or if that information was still forthcoming. He said he is concerned about the architectural details of the project --- particularly maintaining the historical facade of the original theatre --- and the impact this build will have on the heritage of the area.
Agnew said a rough draft has been started. "It's our intention to have a special meeting of Heritage Kingston to have that discussion. We can consult the [Heritage] Committee on some of the specifics of the details that will likely go into the heritage easement agreement. What we have right now is the beginnings of a draft from the staff perspective, but we need to ensure that we have the consultation in the comments from the committee before that can be finalized," she said
A heritage easement agreement can have a varying level of detail, Agnew continued. "I would expect that Heritage Kingston would have some specific input with respect to some of the architectural details or some of the finer points. From a staff perspective, we have the benefit of the Heritage impact assessment, which also makes recommendations about the heritage easement agreement, but those are details that we're still working through now."
"It seems like a big moment for the Heritage Committee," Stroud said. "In light of the peer review that we had before, about the impact on the heritage, and all the public comments we've had about the impact on the heritage downtown, it seems like it's an important meeting. I guess I'm just hoping that everybody is prepared to produce good clutch work in in that venue."
The settlement will be presented to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal in the coming weeks.
Story by Jessica Foley, The Kingstonist, for the Local Journalism Initiative