Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia supports Robin’s development plans

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The Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia announced that it applaudsRobin Halifax Holdings’plansto build 500,000-square- foot, twin-tower in downtown Halifax and to keep the former Bank of Commerce Building on George Street, reports TheChronicleHerald.

The trust, however, said it is disappointed that Robin Halifax Holdings is not proposing to keep the other four buildings on the block, except as facades.

The development, called 22nd Commerce Square, will span the area bounded by Granville, George, Hollis and Duke streets.It will include a 96-suite boutique hotel, a public atrium, a restaurant and conference center in a restored Bank of Commerce building, and 88 condominium units.

It will also have 200,000 square feet of office space, street-level retail space along Granville, Duke and Hollis streets and underground parking for 300 vehicles.

The family-owned company owns Royal Bank Tower and the block on which it stands, and also the BMO and TD buildings in downtown Halifax.

In addition to the former Bank of Commerce, the block includes four buildings registered under the Municipal Registry of Heritage Properties: the Hayes Insurance, Merchants Bank of Canada, Champlain and Flinn buildings.

The entire block will be vacated and the Royal Bank building and some others will be demolished.

The Bank of Commerce building and its lower extension facade will be retained and efforts will be made to retain interior finishes.

The interiors of the remaining four buildings will be demolished. Their facades will be restored with the help of a preservation consultant as part of the block’s overall streetscape design.

Pending municipal approval, demolition and excavation is planned for 2015, with construction occurring between 2015 and 2018.

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