(Photos: Kelly Roche/QEW South Post)
BY KELLY ROCHE
A modern office tower, a safer intersection for pedestrians and drivers, and a new bank.
Stavebank Rd. is undergoing an extreme makeover and the project “will bring good-paying jobs to Port Credit,” said developer Dr. Bill James of Centre City Capital, which operates the nearby marina. “And Port Credit needs economic activity.”
The announcement was made Thursday at the Waterside Inn.
Long-awaited plans are coming to fruition with the groundbreaking for redevelopment at the southwest corner of Stavebank and Lakeshore Rds.
“Who wouldn’t want to have an office in Port Credit?,” asked Ward 1 Coun. Jim Tovey.
The project is broken into several components.
First, the post office is going to be transformed into a 40, 000 square foot low-rise building.
Nearly $1 million is being spent to restore the historic east side, built in 1923, “which is absolutely fantastic,” said Tovey.
The newer section of the post office will be torn down, and a glass addition put on.
Once construction is completed, the CIBC bank, currently at the southeast corner of the intersection, will cross Stavebank and move into the post office site.
“So when you walk into the bank, it’ll kind of have an ‘old bank’ sort of feel,” Tovey said.
Then the former CIBC branch will be torn down. Finally, Stavebank Rd. – notorious for accidents and near mishaps – will be straightened “and hopefully the flow of traffic will move better,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
“It’s been a goal of ours for some time, so I’m delighted it’s finally a reality.”
Construction begins next week, with a timeline of 14 to 16 months.
“It was a four-year process to get it this far. Construction will take a lot less time,” said Tovey.
An estimated 150 to 200 permanent jobs will be created, he added.
Residents were happy to hear the news.
“Any development here is good, it seems,” said Kay Weaver.
The best part for her is the realignment of the offset intersection.
“It’s like an accident waiting to happen at that corner,” Weaver said.
Christine Nahood was talking traffic, too.
“It’s going to be easier to get over the bridge,” said Nahood.
“This is what the hold-up is for the whole Lakeshore; coming and going, it’s going to be an easier intersection.”
Teresa Pamatat said she can’t wait to see what’s next.
“I think we’ve just tipped the iceberg here, as far as the potential,” Pamatat said.