Queen’s moves closer towards Albert Street residences

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, Queen’s University planners held their second open house in the atrium of Mitchell Hall to show students and local neighbours their plans for a new residence building of approximately 325 beds which will be located on Albert Street, just south of Union Street.

Nearby residents chat with Queen’s University staff about their plans for a residence building on Albert Street. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

The new building, which will see three of existing houses demolished and two others used as part of its design, is expected to be five storeys tall and to include common areas for students to study in, but feature no dining hall. The site was chosen as part of the 2014 Campus Master Plan and, according to documents, was the only site of suitable size located close to existing residential uses.

Nearby residents from Collingwood Street, Beverly Street and Victoria Street were present to voice concerns about the new building, commenting that additional shadows, additional traffic to Albert Street, the loss of tree canopy, and impacts to water flow could dramatically alter the character of the area and their quality of life.

A scale model of the proposed building was on display during the open hose, viewed here from what would be the north-east corner of the building. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

The property Queen’s is looking to use for the building falls under existing zoning for educational or medical uses, which does allow for residences operated by the university to be constructed. Access to the existing alley behind the homes on Collingwood Street is also expected to be maintained, with the entrance remaining on Albert Street, as will a large setback from the existing daycare at the corner of Albert and Union Streets.

A rendering of the east facade of the building, showing the houses at 142 and 144 Albert Street, which will be incorporated and connected to the new building. Rendering provided by Queen’s University.

Developers of the new building are targeting a ‘LEED Gold’ certification for the construction, which will include bicycle facilities on the property, light pollution reduction, enhanced heating and refrigerant management, and reduction impact to the environment during construction, among other requirements.

The site plan submitted to the city includes the planting of additional butternut trees in the area to replace existing butternut trees in the rear of some of the existing buildings, and is expected to increase the overall tree count.

142, 144 and 148 Albert Street as they stood on November 7, 2019. 148 Albert will be demolished as part of the construction. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

The building has been approved by the Queen’s Board of Trustees and is sitting with the city’s site plan control process. A noise study to look at potential impacts from mechanical equipment and delivery movement, and a lighting plan to illustrate the exterior lighting impact are expected to be forthcoming. Occupation is expected in August 2022.

Work on this project began in March with a first public open house in June and this as their second. Additional public events are not currently planned, but subject to municipal planning procedures may be required. More information about the new facility can be found on the Queen’s Residences website.

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