Although COVID-19 has posed a challenge to University operations, construction is now underway for Queen’s new Albert Street residence.
Development has been approved by the Board of Trustees and the site plan control application was endorsed on June 18 by the City of Kingston’s Planning Committee. The project is slated for completion and intended to become available for occupancy by the 2022 fall term.
The residence will generate 338 new housing units for students and, according to the project’s information webpage, has been designed to meet existing zoning requirements and provide a “sensitive transition” to the surrounding neighbourhood.
The project design is targeting the Leader in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Standard certification. The certification is one of the most popular green building certification programs recognized worldwide, with Gold being the second-highest rating below Platinum.
READ MORE: University to break ground on new residence in May 2020
An update from Queen’s Residences on June 12 reported work has been completed through the demolition of the first lot on Albert Street. The building site is occupied by five homes from 142 to 154 Albert St.—which are located around the southwest corner of Albert and Union—two of which will be partially or fully integrated into the residence building in an effort to maintain aesthetic continuity on the street.
To ensure the surrounding local environment has been preserved, a number of safeguards have been put in place. Working closely with the City, the University has determined the building will not exceed five residential stories, nor encroach on the nearby daycare centre just north of Albert St.
Significant efforts have been made to protect the habitat, with a particular focus on preserving the aged trees on site. However, four mature trees were removed on June 16 between a set of Albert St. homes slated for demolition.
READ MORE: Queen’s to offer single occupancy residence in fall
To rectify their removal, the Queen’s Site Plan Approval Application, which has been approved by the City, included the planting of butternut trees in the arboretum in front of Summerhill. This location was selected to ensure the butternut trees will be protected.
For residents of the area, heavy equipment use, signage, and traffic control can be expected from June 29 to July 3 on Albert St., owing to the demolition of 154 Albert. Regarding any limit to road access, Queen’s will provide laneway users with alternate parking on its Tindall parking lot.
Queen’s doesn’t anticipate any significant access restrictions to the area until late 2021 or early 2022 when construction begins on the laneway and draining.
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