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Council gives green light to Water Street South towers

Councillors praised the consultant for responding to concerns from neighbours of 330-unit development
The proposal for 201 Water St. S. was revised to eliminate a middle, nine storey tower above a six storey podium. The two towers are now 15 storeys high over a three-storey parking podium.

A two-storey residential tower containing 330 units will soon rise above Water Street South next to Churchill Park.

Council unanimously approved the project Tuesday after the developer modified the application in response to fears from residents on Highman Avenue about the impact an earlier three-tower project would have on the neighbourhood. 

The project is a stone's throw from a five-tower apartment complex approved in 2022 that has yet to break ground.

The middle 9-storey tower has been removed, leaving a six-storey podium between two 15 storey towers atop a unified three storey podium.

The distance between the two towers has increased from 18.55 metres to approximately 47 metres to accommodate some retention of views from Highman Avenue.

A driveway from Highman will be solely for emergency access or one way exit for residents in case of emergency.

Twenty of the units will be priced at $418,000, or what the Region of Waterloo considers affordable housing at 80 per cent of market value.

The complex will have 416 vehicle parking spaces for residents and visitors plus 117 bicycle spaces.

Coun. Mike Devine called the consultant's willingness to listen and respond to resident and council concerns admirable.

Coun. Adam Cooper also praised the changes, particularly in response to resident concerns about impacts to privacy and views.

He also highlighted the developer's support of a heritage designation for an old farmhouse on the property and the addition of affordable housing units  

"This is about as much of a compromise as we could get," Cooper said. "I'm quite happy with it."