Sisters of Charity-Halifax have signed an agreement with Southwest Properties Limited for redevelopment of the 63-acre property overlooking the Bedford Basin, where the Congregation’s Motherhouse once stood.
Sister Donna Geernaert, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity, says “in our request for proposals, we made it clear that the decisions around the land are values-based and Southwest did a good job of building those into its proposal. The vision for the property is to create an environmentally sustainable, integrated community – a vibrant neighbourhood for our Sisters living here and for others in the area.”
Approximately 80 retired Sisters live in Caritas Residence, built on an adjacent property three years ago. The Congregation’s “head office” and archives are also located in that new building, on a separate floor called the Sisters of Charity Centre.
Influencing the choice of Southwest Properties as purchaser of the land, Sister Donna says, was the fact that “Southwest is a Nova Scotian, family-run business with a proven track record.” Other factors included the company’s commitment to social responsibility and the recognition it has earned for past projects – including awards for eco-efficiency, urban design and excellence in a mixed-use project.
“We are pleased the Sisters of Charity have entrusted this land to Southwest Properties based on our proposal’s values, vision and commitment to the community,” said CEO, Jim Spatz. “They have owned and occupied this land for generations and we are committed to shaping the next chapter by being good neighbours and stewards of this important place, as the Sisters have been.”
The next step in this process for Southwest Properties is to work toward a development agreement with the Halifax Regional Municipality. Included in that process will be opportunities for public input.
Sisters of Charity-Halifax have owned the Rockingham property since 1872. The Congregation is self-funded, with no financial support from the Roman Catholic
Church, so the decision to sell the land is seen as one of financial stewardship, helping to provide for the future needs of its members and its mission of service. There are currently just over 400 members of the Sisters of Charity-Halifax living across Canada, in the eastern United States, Bermuda and Peru.
Southwest Properties creates quality spaces. From new residential or commercial development to repositioning an existing property, the company believes in going beyond the necessary to create inspiring environments. Southwest endeavors to improve peoples’ lives through the spaces where they live, work, shop and play. Southwest currently owns and operates more than 1,250 quality apartments and condos situated in the best residential areas of Halifax. The portfolio also includes commercial developments in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.