After sitting vacant for several years, work is now getting underway on a residential project at Essa Road and Veterans Drive in Barrie's south end.
The city has issued a building permit and site work is now underway at the corner property for One Urban's 430 Essa development.
Once completed, the project will be a four-storey, mixed-use building with 71 residential units and ground-floor commercial.
The neighbouring property, located at 440 Essa Rd., is also slated for redevelopment. It recently came up at a local planning committee meeting.
The land at 440 Essa Rd. received council approval this spring and the zoning-bylaw was OK'd. Site-plan approval will be the next step for this project.
The 440 Essa project includes an eight-storey, mixed-use building with 1,208.5 square metres (13,000 square feet) of ground-floor commercial space along Essa Road, 194 purpose-built residential rental units in seven upper storeys, along with underground and surface parking.
Both of the properties are in the Essa Road intensification corridor.
"This is an area that is identified by the city as appropriate for intensification and these two applications do just that," Michelle Banfield, the city's director of planning services, told BarrieToday.
"Intensification represents an essential component of the city’s growth-management strategy to minimize the infrastructure requirements of new development and to utilize existing services including transit, schools and open space," she added. "Mixed land uses and increased density represent an opportunity to develop complete communities, as intended by the province of Ontario."
The appeal period for the 440 Essa proposal ends Tuesday, June 30.