Ward 1 candidate looking to relieve pressure from student housing

lelandWard 1 candidate Ira Rosen has made his support public for a new development on Leland Street, despite some objections by residents. (Above, one of the street perspectives for 71-77 Leland Street)

The proposal is for an apartment building geared to students, with 129 furnished bachelor suites in a five-storey complex. Rosen says a purpose-built student-oriented building is a good way to relieve pressure in certain areas of the Ainslie-Westdale community.

“Living in the area all my life, I’ve seen what was once a very family rich environment turned into what is now a student rich environment,” Rosen said in an interview. “I have nothing against students, but it takes away from a balanced neighborhood when up to 70 per cent (of housing in certain areas) is being converted into student rentals.”

rosenRosen believes the type of housing being proposed on Leland – by Zeljko Prica, president of KW4Rent Inc. of Waterloo – is a good idea at the right time.

“Taking into account the present construction of McMaster University’s downtown health campus (at Main and Bay streets) there is an opportunity for these or other developers to create similar type buildings in the downtown area,” Rosen said.

He believes this complex would attract students at the new campus, who could help to invigorate the surrounding area of the downtown core at the same time as it took some of the pressure off the local housing stock within the Ainslie Wood-Westdale area.

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