Condominium complex proposed for Sioux Lookout
Tim Brody - Editor
A group of three local businessmen have incorporated under the name MPW Development and are proposing to develop a condominium complex along Abram Lake.
Darrell Morgan, Allan Pizziol and Jamie Wisnoski make up MPW Development and have submitted an application to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry to purchase 3.673 ha of Crown land for the project, located along Highway 72 near the MNR Beach.
“The idea has been floated around since the MNR deemed that property surplus…it was more than 10 years ago. There used to be houses in there. That was a built-up area before. The MNR, when they redesigned their base, they demolished those houses and the land has been sitting dormant and vacant…you’re not opening up undeveloped land,” Morgan shared.
“They [The Ministry] had deemed it surplus. They had done an Environmental Assessment on it already,” Morgan added.
“We went to the town [The Municipality] and they support us in doing it. The MNR supports it. There’s a few things that we have to do in terms of all the approvals, we’ll work through that, but the concept and the proposal is three different condominium developments on site. Looking at 16 units per building. We’ll phase it in,” he explained, “The idea is to provide more housing in a rural lake setting. We’ve done our studies and there is a demand for it. We want to phase it in, so we’ll do three separate projects, 16 units on each unit.”
Morgan said the complex will feature three well-designed, attractive, four-story apartment buildings with 16 units per building. He said the buildings will be serviced to town sewer and water with an emphasis on low maintenance living for seniors and professionals.
The plan he said, is to construct one building at a time, beginning construction on each new building as demand materializes for it, eventually creating 48 total units to help address the community’s housing crisis. Each unit would be 1200-1500 square feet.
“We want to design the buildings so that the facades mix with the nature of the land. We want to do everything we can to protect the land that’s there,” Morgan said.
Morgan added that the project will enhance access to the MNR beach, improve walking trail access and feature parking for the beach to ensure the public can continue to access and enjoy the beach.
He added, “The town currently owns the beach, but there is no legal access to that beach from the highway. Right now, there’s no road allowance, no road easement, so, in our proposal, in the discussions with the town, we proposed to the town and the town agreed, that we should register an easement across the property which gives the town and the public permanent access, that is a legal access, to the beach, along with a parking lot.”
Snowmobile trail access would be preserved, and the easement would be turned over to the Municipality.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, design of the units, site plan design with the Municipality needs to be done, the zoning is already in place…the town has to accept the condo plan for the development as well,” Morgan shared.
The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) Sioux Lookout District Office is inviting interested persons, government agencies and Indigenous communities to provide comment for the proposed sale of Crown land. The comment period begins on Sept. 27, ending on Oct. 26.
In addition, Morgan said he and his partners in the project plan to host a public meeting to answer any questions people might have and address any concerns.
“What I hope that people understand is if they look at myself and Jamie and Allan, we’re longtime residents of the community. We want to build something that we’re proud of, build something that leaves a bit of a legacy and build it to the standard that people would expect,” Morgan said, adding, “It gives us a chance to do something that’s good for the community, I think it will help future development in the community.”
“We’d like to start breaking ground next summer is the plan. It’s aggressive. We’d like to see something happen in 2022 and it’s going to be at least a 12-month construction process to get it completed, so you’d be looking at 2023-2024,” Morgan concluded.