Kingstonians have mixed feelings on Downtown Condos

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

For decades – this building in Downtown Kingston was one of the city’s only movie theatres.

And after a few years sitting vacant – IN8 developments has received the all-clear to move ahead with building a 15-storey condo tower atop the old theatre.

The day after the landmark vote was struck, opinions are still mixed.

“I think it would mean more business opportunities for people walking by to see all the stores and everything like that.”

Lisa Cameron: “It’s a ridiculous situation. I don’t think that the downtown Kingston area has the infrastructure or space to accommodate such a large residential complex.”

There has been strong opposition to the Capitol Condo project from the beginning, forcing the developer to scale back the size of the project from 22 storeys to 15.

Ann Edwards: “I’m glad they didn’t give them 22 storeys because I think that would have been not aesthetically pleasing, but I’m really very pleased.”

While others were pleased that the approval process moved as quickly as it did, with council making a decision on the project a little over a year after it was first proposed.

“Kingston is somewhat slow and methodical, instead of making decisions – what city council will do is have a group of people come in, pay them 30-thousand dollars and not make a decision.”

In the end the decision was a close one. The condo passed by a vote of 7-6.

But it’s still possible the decision could be reversed, should the matter be taken to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Darryl Firsten: “We’re of the belief that with council support and strong staff support that it’s extremely defensible and of course we would defend it. We’re quite optimistic that it wouldn’t be too much of a challenge.”

Firsten says with approval out of the way, the hope is that construction on the 15-storey condo tower could begin by early 2017.

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