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19-storey tower proposed for Water Street

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Cathy Dobson

Sarnia’s housing market can support another waterfront tower in addition to the Tricar apartment building currently under construction, says realtor Patrick Coutu.

Coutu, of Coldwell Banker Southwest Realty, represents Sarnia businessman Henry Mehta, who has plans for a 19-storey condominium on Water Street where Sarnia Rent-All is located.

“Tricar is rental only and we will be condos, two completely different markets,” Coutu said.  “Our preliminary market analysis shows there’s a demand for both, especially on the waterfront.”

Patrick Coutu

The final drawings aren’t complete but Mehta’s project currently incorporates a ground floor with a small commercial component, four floors for parking, and 15 residential floors with 120 two-bedroom units. The top two floors are reserved for larger penthouses.

If the building is that tall it would exceed the 45-metre height restriction and require minor variance approval by City Hall, Coutu said.

Condo prices are expected to range from $300,000 to $600,000.

Ideally, construction could begin by the end of this year with completion in early 2021, Coutu added.

Mehta purchased Sarnia Rent-All at 135 Water St. in 2013 and intends to move the business to another undisclosed location he already owns.

The first public consultation meeting for the condo project was held last week and drew about 12 neighbours.

“Everyone who came out was supportive,” Coutu said, adding he’s already receiving calls from realtors with interested buyers.

Over at 275 Front St. and adjacent Centennial Park, Tricar is pouring the concrete foundations for a 15-storey apartment building.

Tricar’s final blueprints for the rest of the building are under review and its application will be up for approval in the next few weeks, city staff says.

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