Developer still promises plans for former South Shore Mall property

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN PHOTO</p><p>Kayla Knickle carries her son Jonah and navigates her pet pooch along a trail August 15 through the former South Shore Mall property in Bridgewater.</p>

These days a medical office building containing a drug store is the only sign of construction on what was once pitched as a grand, mixed-use development that would boast a conference centre, a hotel, restaurants, and townhouses and condos, among other things.

But in the decade since that elaborate vision was pitched on the footprint of the former South Shore Mall, only the one, modest building has been developed.

However, that could all change.

The businessman behind the firm - Halifax's Starfish Properties - that owns the 11 hectares of land on the Bridgewater's east side is once again telling civic politicians that he still wants to develop the property.

LighthouseNOW got in touch with Starfish Properties president Louis Reznick, who indicated that he'd "reach out" on August 9 or 10 to arrange a chat. He didn't. Nor did he respond to a follow-up email sent to him on August 11.

According to Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell he spoke to Reznick as recently as August 14th.

Reznick told the mayor: "Bridgewater is back in the mix and that they are working on plans now and in a couple of weeks he'll be touching base with me and we'll be sitting down and having a conversion about what's going to happen on that property."

The old mall, close to the busy intersection of North Street and Aberdeen Road, once housed a grocery store and a cinema. A billiards club was the mall's last tenant in the early 2000s.

The mall building was the subject of numerous complaints about its graffiti-laden rundown appearance.

The building's centre portion was subsequently demolished, but steel was left standing to outline footprints for two separate buildings - part of Reznick's future plans that he'd explained to town council in February 2007.

Local politicians were told at the time one of the remade buildings would be used for retail purposes, while a second story would be built onto the other and used for business office space.

Reznick's preliminary plans included restaurants, a 4,600 square-metre hotel with room for a 1,400 square-metre conference centre, along with three four-storey structures, two of which would be 50-unit apartment buildings and one 50-unit condominium.

The blueprint also showed plans for a series of townhouses and single-unit dwellings.

"We're going to put our best foot forward not only to give the town a good development, but one that aesthetically will fit into the neighbourhood," Reznick said more than 10 years ago.

Reznik's Starfish Properties has successfully carried out a number of high-end condo and mixed-used developments in Halifax, among other projects.

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