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Allure of Niagara Falls draws Vancouver’s 3Bridges Properties Corp. east to build

Patricia Williams
Allure of Niagara Falls draws Vancouver’s 3Bridges Properties Corp. east to build
3BRIDGES PROPERTIES (GROUP) CORP. — The mansard roof and cupola of the existing Loretto Academy building on Stanley Avenue in Niagara Falls, Ont. will be incorporated in the river-facing facade of the proposed Great Falls development. Plans call for three towers to be built on the site. A construction start date has not been announced.

Vancouver-based 3Bridges Properties (Group) Corp. plans to build a luxury hotel and condominium complex on a historic site in Niagara Falls — its first venture outside of British Columbia.

A construction start date has not been announced for the estimated $1 billion development, which is to include a 32-storey south tower, 57-storey central tower and 42-storey north tower.

“We are in the process of a global search for architects to do concept design,” CEO Dan Zhang said in an email. “Once the concept design is confirmed, it (the development) will be implemented.”

A Canadian contractor will be retained, “ideally” sourced in the Greater Toronto Area, Zhang said.

The Great Falls development will be constructed on a 7.385-acre site at 6880 Stanley Avenue, former home of the Loretto Academy. 3Bridges acquired the property from Romzap Ltd. in February.

Plans call for the heart of the complex to incorporate the existing Loretto Academy building, with its mansard roof and cupola. These elements will be restored into its river-facing facade.

“The value of the property lies in its unrivalled geographic location as well as its over 100 years of history,” Zhang said.

“We cherish the rich heritage inherent in the property and wish to honour history and the local community.”

The three buildings will sit in a park-like setting designed to maximize views of Niagara Falls.

“We hope to retain an architect as soon as possible, recognizing that the project presents challenges to any architect,” Zhang said.

“The design is to ideally match the natural beauty of Niagara Falls and harmonize with the existing urban structure. Additionally, it is a project where past meets future.

“Furthermore, Niagara Falls belongs to the local community, to Canada and to the world; therefore, a development next to the falls duly draws attention worldwide.”

Before ground can be broken, Zhang said all design work must be completed and approved by the city.

“Ideally, the design will meet the expectations of all stakeholders.”

Zhang said 3Bridges plans to partner with a luxury hotel brand operator.

Plans for the development were unveiled at an event in Niagara Falls June 2.

Asked what prompted 3Bridges to develop its first project outside of B.C. in that city, Zhang noted in part that the site “was the last piece of land available by one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

“Secondly, we were drawn by the rich history of the building and wished to help preserve it. We saw immense potential…due to the unique geographic location of the property.”

3Bridges was founded in Vancouver in 2014.

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