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Proposed changes to South Shore Centre site excite Bridgewater councillors

(Illustration by Jessie McLaughlin)

Bridgewater’s LaHave Street could see a major change in appearance if town planning staff suggest amending the Municipal Planning Strategy to accommodate changes sought by the owners of the South Shore Centre mall.

A presentation by Mackenzie Childs, planner with the Town of Bridgewater, at the Feb. 13 meeting of town council, laid out the details. The application by zzap Consulting lnc. would amend the C2 LaHave Commercial Zone and relevant development agreements to permit the applicants to move forward with proposed commercial and residential development.

The proposal for 421 LaHave Street includes adding residential and commercial development between one and eight storeys in height. The plans would demolish the middle of the existing building to create river access, and move commercial entrances to the river side of the building. 

The applicant requests the corner lot height allowance be increased from six storeys to eight. A rendering of the applicant’s vision for the lot shows the existing mall building surrounding new variable-height buildings and a walkable waterfront promenade.

The Municipal Planning Strategy states this zone is capable of supporting higher-density mixed-use development. Any amendments passed by council would apply to the entire C2 LaHave Commercial Zone which includes the lots with Value Village and Atlantic Superstore.

Connor MacQuarrie, a Municipal Planner in the Annapolis Valley originally from the South Shore, says, “The proposed developments for 421 LaHave St will rebuild towards a much needed residential presence and aesthetic improvement to the existing strip mall area. I am excited by the prospect of introducing mixed-use development.”

Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell entered the presentation saying, “I just want to remind people that this is the first step of many steps.” Childs’ presentation concluded with comments from council. Councillor Wayne Thorburne says, “It’s exciting if you look at the picture.” Councillor Stacey Colwell, echoing the sentiment, says, “How exciting the project is.”


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