Agricola development could displace axe-throwing Timber Lounge

Seven-storey proposal being discussed by HRM Planning Advisory Committee.

click to enlarge Agricola development could displace axe-throwing Timber Lounge
via WSP
Between this and Colonial Honda's expansion, May Street is a busy spot.

Just months after opening, the Timber Lounge might be on the hunt for new digs if a seven-storey development is approved for the corner of Agricola and May Street.

Halifax’s District 7 and 8 Planning Advisory Committee will meet today, June 27, to discuss an application by WSP Canada (on behalf of “Persimmon Properties”) for a mixed-use residential complex at 2710 Agricola.

That's the former Discount Car & Truck rental depot that’s now home to both Timber Lounge and the semi-permanent location of the Food Wolf food truck. The development isn't news to Timber Lounge owner Darren Hudson, but he's still hoping the application takes its time before getting the green light.

“They said it won’t be anytime soon. It won’t be within a year, or a year-and-a-half,” says Hudson, who opened the axe-throwing lounge this past spring. “I’m hoping people will think the Timber Lounge is so cool...maybe we can stretch another year out of it.”

WSP is planning for 68 residential units and ground-floor commercial space in the new development, along with a separate three-storey, three-unit building facing Fern Lane on the same lot.

The developer says the structure will be built through a “Passive House” approach, involving greater energy efficiency, building sustainability and “superior sound insulation.”

“This is particularly appropriate for the Agricola neighbourhood given the environmental awareness in the community and the adjacency of the project to Ecology Action Centre,” reads the proposal sent to the PAC.

No affordable housing, though. At a public meeting held earlier in June, WSP said it wouldn’t make sense financially.
 Residents who attended that meeting also criticized the building as too big for the neighbourhood, and voiced concerns about the small setback on May Street.

Those elements, among other design features, will be considered at Monday’s meeting of the Planning Advisory Committee before a report on the proposed development is sent to Halifax and West Community Council.

Meanwhile, the Timber Lounge is currently building a performance stage and outdoor patio, while hoping against hope that HRM’s development approval process lives up to its lengthy reputation.

"We are at their mercy," says Hudson. "We don't want to be anywhere else. That's the spot in the city we love to be."

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