Tower project will go to another public hearing

Abbotsford's Mahogany at Mill Lake tower project could include some commercial space in the 26-storey structure.

The Mahogany at Mill Lake tower project will be the subject of another public hearing.

But this time, the debate is not to approve the building, but to allow commercial space into the residential structure.

The development, which will consist of a 26-storey tower and a four-storey apartment complex, is located at 2180 Gladwin Rd. and has been at the centre of controversy before.

Originally proposed in 2009 the request to build the high rise was originally denied by council after a large group of protesters opposed the development at a public hearing. They raised concerns regarding the structure, the largest to be built in Abbotsford, becoming an eye sore and blocking the sun as it towered over nearby homes.

A year later, a second public hearing took place. This time council gave the green light to Quantum Properties, a local development company, to construct the building.

Now, Quantum has requested a zoning change to allow some commercial space to be included n the project. The original plan called for 272 multi-family units. The developer wants to decrease that number to 243, allowing space in the first three levels of the tower’s podium for medical offices, a coffee shop and other non-residential uses.

Coun. Henry Braun said he wasn’t sure the structure even belonged in the area, but added it was a forgone conclusion because it has already been approved.

“How do the pieces fit together?” he asked regarding commercial space being added to the residential neighbourhood.

Some residents have already expressed concerns that the commercial aspect will cause parking and traffic problems in the area.

Council agreed to give first reading to the proposed changes and send the issue to a public hearing, tentatively scheduled for May 14.