HomeAPM Proposes expansion of House of Excellence

APM Proposes expansion of House of Excellence

Nov 11 2001

The APM Group is proposing to expand its House of Excellence business and further develop the surrounding four acres of land which include the former West Royalty elementary school. Brian Gillis, vice-president of business development for APM, made the proposal at a public meeting of Charlottetown city council Tuesday night.

The APM Group, which has owned House of Excellence in West Royalty for the past five years, is proposing to develop a new 12,500-square-foot building which would house the home-decor business and would see the business expand to include such retail as furniture. The business, which has existed on that site for more than 25 years, has been in a 5,000-square-foot building.

The building which currently houses the House of Excellence would become the new home for Experience Hyundai with the home-decor business moving into a new adjacent facility. Further to that, 7,500 square feet of space would be added to the new House of Excellence building to provide additional room for expansion and the former school would become a 5,000-square foot facility for a yet-to-be-named tenant.

With room for up to 200 parking spaces, the total development is on four acres of land that is situated between the Lower Malpeque Road and Kirkdale Road, which is the only access road into and out of the Highland Estates subdivision, a residential area of about 150 homes. "The objective of APM has been to expand and grow the business,'' Gillis said. "Looking at the present site, it wasn't (sufficient for expansion).'' Gillis said APM also intends on including in its proposal a restrictive covenant which would prohibit the developer from including a theatre, nightclub, bowling alley, billiard parlour, cafeteria or other places of recreation or amusement. It can, however, include a restaurant.

Gillis said he hopes that unique business move would ease the fears of residents in the area as to what kinds of tenants will and won't set up shop there. Gillis said APM would further try and enhance the esthetics of the development with trees bordering the site and Ellen's Creek and low-level lighting that wouldn't cause residents distress at night. However, several concerned residents who live in the Highland Estates subdivision said expanding business in that area will create a traffic nightmare.

Donald Thompson, one area resident, wanted to know what happens if, with even more traffic utilizing the street, there is an accident and access is cut off for a period of time. Thompson said emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks wouldn't be able to get to residents in the subdivision and more traffic would pose a significant risk to children walking in the area. "Increased traffic means an increased risk,'' Thompson said. "If anything happens in there, there's no way for an ambulance to get in,'' said John Francis, another subdivision resident and former RCMP officer.

Gillis said APM will make improvements to Kirkdale Road such as widening out the intersection of Kirkdale and Lower Malpeque Road so traffic has a left-and right-hand turning lane. He added that APM really has no control over the fact that there is only one access road. Duncan Conrad, an area resident, said the city is asking for trouble if it allows the development. "It is a nightmare going through there at any time,'' Conrad said. "We are just enhancing the problem.''

As resident after resident spoke about their concerns over the lack of another access road into and out of the subdivision, Mayor George MacDonald responded by saying he would ask the city's public works committee to put it on its agenda. Other residents were worried about devalued property values should the development be approved by city council.

Towards the end of the meeting, APM owner Tim Banks got up to speak and said the most logical place to expand House of Excellence was on its present site and that he hoped residents would consider the home-decor business has been contributing to the community for years and should be given a chance to grow.

"If we as Islanders keep trying to stop businesses which have grown up in our own communities then we're going backwards,'' Banks said.

Media Contact: MediaReleases@apm.ca