Developer aims high for Main Street project
Plans have been filed to redevelop a property in the heart of Main Street and double its number of floors from four to eight.
The property at 91 Main Street currently has four floors facing onto Main Street but the plans envisage this increasing to six, with an additional two floors set back toward the rear of the site.
The plans, drawn up on behalf of developer LB Alwani Ltd, have only recently been filed at Town Planning and have yet to be discussed at the Development and Planning Commission.
But they are certain to reignite the debate about the height of buildings within the city walls.
The Development Plan 2009 states that new developments within the city walls should be of a similar scale to existing buildings, and certainly no higher than a total of five floors, including the ground floor.
But in assessing new projects, planning officials must weigh up commercial factors against the height guidelines.
At least three new projects within the city walls have been cleared by the DPC in recent years even though they exceed the height guidelines set out in the development plan.
There are also already a number of existing buildings within the city walls that are taller than the 2009 guidelines.
The application for 91 Main Street includes a contextual map that indicates several of those buildings in the Main Street area.
They include the ICC at the northern end of Main Street, which has 11 storeys; Victoria House with six storeys; 6 Engineer Lane with five storeys; Jyske House Building with seven storeys; Centre Plaza Building with nine storeys; and 175 Mains Street with five storeys.
The project at 91 Main Street – the building is currently home to the Carlos electronics store on the ground floor - envisages the demolition and redevelopment of the site into commercial, office and residential premises.
The proposed ground floor will feature a shop or commercial premises, the first to fourth floor will have twenty different offices, with four residential units on the fifth floor, five on the sixth and two on the seventh.