SmartCentres and Greenwin Propose Skyline-Defining Development in Downtown Barrie
A prime slice of lakefront property in Downtown Barrie is proposed to undergo a multi-phase transformation by SmartCentres REIT and Greenwin Corporation. The two development partners have been working collaboratively with the City of Barrie to create a comprehensive vision for the site, and their ambitious proposal adds a mix of uses and four skyline-defining towers to the edge of Kempenfelt Bay.
Aerial view looking west at the four-tower development, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT
Continuing a pattern of intensification along the Barrie waterfront, the proposed Barrie Lakeshore Developments occupies a 7.8-acre property within the Urban Growth Centre of the City addressed at 51, 53, 55 and 75 Bradford Street and 20 Checkley Street. Bounded by Bradford Street to the west, Lakeshore Drive to the east, and a series of residential buildings to the north and south, the site currently contains a single storey building on the southwest section, while the remainder is vacant.
Site plan, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT
This Turner Fleischer Architects-designed project is conceived as a four-tower rental development, with retail-inclusive podiums providing a consistent street wall and human scale to the project at street-level. Two residential towers of 45 and 38 storeys share a podium that fronts Bradford Street with ground-floor retail, stretched east to an extended Checkley Street that provides ingress and egress through the site.
Looking west towards the combined hotel and residential tower, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT
A third residential tower climbs 35 storeys to the immediate south. Facing Lakeshore Drive and overlooking the waterfront will be a 25-storey mixed-use building containing a total of 230 residential units and 145 hotel suites. A five-storey parkade is planned at the northern edge of the site. Upon full build-out, the development will introduce 1,697 rental units and 3,594 square metres of retail space to the property, with 1,740 parking spaces servicing the development.
Looking southwest at the hotel-residential tower, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT
The towers, stepping down in height closer to the waterfront, are strategically positioned to optimize views and maximize sunlight exposure for residents. Parking and loading services are largely hidden from the public realm to secure an accessible and pedestrian-friendly environment.
Ground floor plan, image via submission to the City of Barrie
A variety of cladding materials envelop the buildings, giving the towers and the podiums their own distinct identities. Glazing wraps the sinuous projecting balconies of the towers, while a combination of glass and masonry units characterize the rectangular podiums.
A series of walking trails around Bunker's Creek, looking north towards the hotel podium, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT
The development opens up new pedestrian and cycling connections to the waterfront, linking Bradford Street with Lakeshore Drive, where the barren plot of land that currently defines the property greatly hinders accessibility.
A number of new public pathways are proposed to provide links to existing green spaces in the immediate area, including Bunker’s Creek, which drains into Kempenfelt Bay and Lake Simcoe. Complementing the Creek, adjacent pond and trails, landscape improvements extend the public realm with active community spaces for year-round relaxation and recreation.
Looking southwest, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT
Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendment applications are currently being reviewed by the City of Barrie. An application for Site Plan Approval will be submitted in the near future to permit the first phase of development, which could begin as early as Q1 2021.