Revised 21-storey tower behind Oshawa’s historic Genosha Hotel headed to Council
Published October 19, 2023 at 2:03 pm
A revised plan to add a 21-storey apartment tower to 70 King – the historic former Genosha Hotel – in downtown Oshawa was given the green light at Monday’s Economic and Development Services Committee, with the 198-unit building now headed to the October 30 full Council meeting for final approval.
The proposal has been on the books for more than two years with the major change in the current proposal being an increase in units from 114 to 198. TT7 Inc. and noted local developer Richard Summers has no plans for parking at the building site and is instead planning to construct two extra floors to the parking arcade across Mary Street and construct a pedestrian walkway to take care of the spaces required.
The bridge, which was to be built across Mary Street at the fifth floor of the proposed tower, will now be located at the seventh floor. Summers, who has been working to develop the Genosha Hotel since it was purchased by TT7 Inc. six years ago, said the extra two floors being proposed for the parking garage and the pedestrian bridge connecting it to the apartment building will be funded by his company and TT7 Inc.
The design for the bridge has also been changed. The original design, described as “iconic” by Summers when the proposal came before Council in April 2021, was for a contemporary, glass façade bridge with a cantilever but was scrapped after consultations with City staff and representatives from Heritage Oshawa.
“We heard very clearly that a heritage building deserves something more humble, more modest,” Naama Blonder, an architect and urban planner with Smart Density (which was brought into the project last year), told committee members Monday.
Coupled with the 86 tenants now residing at 70 King Street (the re-developed former Genosha Hotel), the building will now have 284 units.
Other changes made to the plan since it was last before Council include a revision in the unit mix, with one-bedroom units going up to 125 from 84 and two-bedroom units jumping from eight to 71. The number of bachelor, three-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments in the building have all been reduced.
The height of the proposed building has also been reduced slightly from 71.5 metres to 67.1 metres, though the storey height remains at 21.
More than 2,800 square feet of ground floor commercial space have also been added.
The new design also modified the service area to allow waste collection and delivery vehicles to be able to turn around completely within the building. Under the original proposal, a truck driver would have to either reverse into the site or reverse onto Mary Street.
The existing Genosha Hotel building, which is designated as a heritage property, will be retained and will continue to be the focal point of the intersection of King Street East and Mary Street North.
The Genosha Hotel was built in 1928 and was once an entertainment destination in downtown Oshawa before it closed in 2003. TT7 Inc. bought the property in 2017 and tenants moved into the renovated and newly sandblasted building two years later.
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