News Local

Student rez up and running

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

The new student residence at 320 Lake Street is already in use, after bouncing back following a fire back in November while it was still under construction.

The new student residence at 320 Lake Street is already in use, after bouncing back following a fire back in November while it was still under construction.

A new student residence has opened its doors, months after fire threatened to delay the project.

 

The brand new purpose-built student apartment complex at 320 Lake Street officially welcomed its first Algonquin College student this past week. Dubbed the “320 Lake Residence,” the construction of this four-storey 16 suite building began in April 2016.

Construction had been well ahead of schedule when, on Nov. 10, 2016, a fire gutted the top two floors and left a significant question as to the ability of the team to rebuild in time for the Fall 2017 semester.

Tim Streek, president of the TSH Development Group and the developer of this project, said they were able to overcome this setback thanks to the timely support of the insurance and restoration companies involved, getting the rebuild off to a rapid start.

“Lisa Edmonds from EGM Insurance and Devlin Helferty from Helferty Disaster Restoration were pivotal in our early success,” he said. “Their timely support allowed us to get back to building as quickly as we could.”

Streek said even with an optimistic rebuild schedule, the outlook from January to this summer was very tight.

“The remediation team handed the project back to our building contractors in January,” he said. “Our local trades teams maintained the momentum and actually produced a finished building by July 1, one full month sooner than the post-fire timeline.”

Streek credits their building partners who contributed above and beyond expectations to see this building finished.

“When you have a framing team like Coulas Construction drop what they are doing and working in the dead of winter to build a new roof without complaint, you know you have the right people on your side.” he said.

320 Lake Residence was substantially completed in early July but the work didn’t stop there. The building added accommodation for up to 46 students and the suites were all completely furnished in August to provide the most inclusive living experience possible while they attend Algonquin College.

Streek said 320 Lake was intended to provide apartment living for students versus a more typical dormitory experience.

“Our intent was to offer students the ability to move in with very little to bring with them, and to spread out and relax in their apartment,” he said. “Moms and Dads love the balance of proximity, security, space, and inclusiveness provided at the residence.”

Last week the first of 46 students moved in to the building.

“We are very excited that our building is fully leased in our opening year,” Streek said. “It supports the vision that we had for this project and shows the value of investing in the downtown Pembroke area.”

He said they couldn’t be more pleased with the results, regardless of the challenge that a November fire posed for them.

“I would express my deepest appreciation to the City and all of our partners in seeing this building open on time,” Streek said.

The TSH Development Group is the same organization currently building the apartment complex at 575 Melton St in Pembroke. That 32-suite building has more of a senior tenant focus and is slated to be ready for occupancy in Aug. 2018.

SUhler@postmedia.com