Building plans at King and University

A 25-storey luxury condominium will be built across from Wilfrid Laurier University at 247 King St. N. and 253 University Ave. W.

Cameron Rapp, the general manager of development services for the City of Waterloo, clarifies that the new housing unit is not targeted towards students. “The condominiums are catered towards higher income individuals and couples who want an urban lifestyle, living close to city amenities.”

The plans are likely intended to attract individuals working at local insurance companies, such as Manulife, which is just up the street, and the nearby high-tech businesses, including Research In Motion (RIM).

Rapp is certain that this type of development is what many will be looking for in the future. “Not everyone wants to live in a single-detached house,” said Rapp.

This type of development has become somewhat of a trend in the region, as seen in the examples of the Seagram, Kauffman and Bauer lofts.

The building, a plaza at the corner, currently houses a variety of retail and restaurant facilities such as Rogers, Runner’s Choice, Starbucks, Pizza Pizza and a locally owned restaurant, MacDonell’s.

While the building is undergoing construction, these facilities will be temporarily relocated, with the exception of MacDonell’s, which has already closed.

Employees at both Starbucks and Pizza Pizza remain uncertain of what their new locations will be and the precise date in which a move will occur.

Vice-president of the developer of the space, Tanem Developments, Mike Weber assures that many of the businesses will move into the new development – which will support about 20,000 square-feet of retail space – or a nearby location.

The tenants of the new building, however, have not yet been confirmed.
In addition to retail and office space, the new condominium development will house 175 units, two underground parking decks and a 12,000 square-foot garden and patio.

Costs for rental or purchase have not yet been announced and the development project could take upwards of three years.

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