There’s a village being built in the heart of the Friendly City and the local Chamber of Commerce is hoping it’s just what’s needed to bring the downtown core back to life.
Bill Saunders, the CEO of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce, was one of dozens of visitors to the main floor of the newly renamed Century Village to celebrate the kicking into high gear of the planned project to turn the building into a new luxury downtown residential condo.
“This is the exact residential development and increased density we want downtown and we’re very excited about the fact that we have major partners coming together and building what’s going to be an incredible residential facility,” said Saunders.
The landmark Belleville building is being re-purposed with 38 luxury residential condos on the upper three floors with the lower two floors being converted to commercial condominiums for current tenants.
As well, current plans are for the exterior of the building to be given a new look with a combination of Juliet and full balconies. The interior of the building will be revitalized with new tiling, glass railings and premium common area finishes.
The lower two levels will be revitalized to showcase a modern, upgraded retail and office location in the centre of the city.
City infrastructure investment is crucial to attract projects like this, says Saunders.
“The long-term plan of city council is to invest major money in downtown revitalization, there’s been lots of controversy about that… but this is why we’re doing it.
“The city’s making some long-term investments in infrastructure with the intent that this is how it affects the economy.”
Visitors had the opportunity to peruse floor plans and take tours of the building.
Re/Max’s Debbie McKinney who, along with Sean McKinney, was hosting the event agrees with Saunders on what the project means for downtown.
“I think it’s almost integral to the rejuvenation of downtown,” she said. “We have to start somewhere, with some kind of building landmark and I think Century Place is perfect for that. It’s located right off the market square, near the waterfront trails, there’s all the shops and restaurants and boutique stores so it’s perfect.”
As for the name change — from Century Place to Century Village — McKinney says it fits their overall approach to the development.
“I think part of it is we wanted to retain some of the original integrity of the building itself and the name that came with that, but we also wanted to modernize it. We decided to keep part of the name and change it at the same time. So it’s not a total rebuild, it’s a re-invigoration, it’s a re-vitalization of the existing building.”
For Saunders, this is just the first of what he sees as many projects to come.
“With the investment in this project you’re going to see other folks coming forward as well.”
March 09 2016Browse More