Maxwell’s second venue finally takes flight

Photo by Ryan Hueglin
Photo by Ryan Hueglin

After an appeal that stalled construction for over five months, Paul Maxwell can finally start working on his new music venue.

Come fall 2014, Maxwell will open the doors to his latest project, Maxwell’s Concerts and Events. It will be located at 35 University Ave. East, in the old Dooly’s pool hall.

Maxwell is the owner of the live music venue Maxwell’s Music House.

“We’re anticipating we’ll be fully functional where everything’s running smoothly in the fall,” he said.

Maxwell’s plans were delayed in June 2013 after a public appeal challenged the required zoning changes for the new facility.

The appealing party, Lexington Park Real Estate Capital, sought to challenge the development on grounds of parking issues and environmental concerns. However, the Ontario Municipal Board ruled in favour of Maxwell this past month.

Maxwell would just as soon have liked to avoid the hearing altogether.

“There was an attempt by me and my party to work with Lexington Park to try to come to an agreement well before any of this started and there was no reciprocation to work on it at all,” he said.

Despite the delay and associated legal costs, the project will be moving forward.

“There were no concerns by the chairman of the OMB that led the hearing, no concerns from our analysis and our plan and they asked for zero amendments to our initial application,” said Maxwell.

With the project’s recent approval, work on the actual building can now begin.

“There’s a lot of work to be done” he said. “It naturally sets itself up for a venue; there’s already a bar that was built-in and it was a big open area already.”

The plans are for the old pool hall to be converted into a multi-functional venue that can facilitate not only concerts but banquets and corporate events as well.

“It’s going to be a very different facility than what people are used to in this town,” Maxwell said. “We want to have the versatile environment of something like Bingemans, but having a full stage, lighting and sound experience which they don’t incorporate.”

Maxwell doesn’t have any immediate plans to give up his current music hall located on King Street.

He also feels the new venue is much needed for the twin cities, which has few mid-sized performance venues.

“I think the one major thing is it fills a void in the actual size and capacity of what is available for live music in the region,” Maxwell said. “Currently the Turret, Fed Hall and the Centre in the Square are the only three venues of similar size and scope, but what they lack are built-in sound systems and equipment.”

Maxwell explained that the new venue will help to bring notable music talent to Kitchener-Waterloo.

“We’re planning on bringing a new level of talent to the region,” he said. “Bands like Monster Truck, Walk Off the Earth, these bands have played in this venue [the current Maxwell’s Music House] many times.”

“And we’re excited to bring those people back to the community.”

Maxwell feels that it will further expand the image and reputation of Waterloo as a progressive and dynamic community with more to offer for the permanent resident or tourist.

“The more venues in this town the better it is for everybody.”

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