The Fanto Group filed a site plan and zoning application with the city in late May to demolish four buildings on a 19,730-square-foot property at the northeast corner of Balsam and Rochester streets, just west of Gladstone and Bronson avenues.
In its place, the builder proposes 23 townhomes ranging between three and four storeys, including garages and a private roadway.
"We (ran into) opposition with the city," said Fanto co-owner Teodoro Oliviero in an OBJ interview, of the seven-storey, 61-condo building proposed in 2008.
"Councillors decided that zoning was too difficult to change and (also), for us economics made sense for townhomes right now because there are a lot of condos going on in the city."
He explained it makes more sense for Fanto to build townhomes because there are already so many condo developments under construction.
The lot at 261 Rochester St. was bought by Mr. Oliviero's father in the 1980s. Mr. Oliviero and business partner Angelo Serpellini subsequently purchased the adjacent properties.
This represents Fanto's first foray into building townhomes, although the company has been active in construction for 20 to 25 years. For his part, Mr. Oliviero also manages Rideau Cliffe Developments, a custom home builder, that has been building townhomes in Manotick since about 2002.
Liff & Tolot Architects designed the Rochester Street building, with landscape engineering done by James B. Lennox & Associates. Paterson Group Inc. performed an environmental assessment on the area in 2008.
Public comments on the revised proposal are due June 27, and the city plans to make a decision on the development around Sept. 2.