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Architect quashes six-storey rumours in Dunbar

Stong's neighbour says real estate company inquired about her house

An architect hired to develop ideas for the property where Stong's Markets sit on Dunbar Street near 30th says rumours about a proposed six-storey building for the site are unfounded.

Gregory Henriquez of Henriquez Partners Architects says he hasn't drafted any concepts yet. Henriquez was hired by property owner Daen Campbell to conceive redevelopment possibilities for the site.

"We're very excited about Stong's staying on the site and working with them to do a wonderful new Stong's store," Henriquez said.

Olivia Edwards, who lives across the alley from Stong's, says she recently received a call from a real estate company to see if her family would be interested in selling its house that was built in 1925. She said the realty representative told her the adjacent redevelopment would include underground parking that would be built under the lane.

But Campbell, of Harwood Corporation and son of the late mayor Tom Campbell, said his company didn't hire the realty company to contact area homeowners.

Ken Charko, president of the company that runs the adjacent Dunbar Theatre, says he constantly hears stories about change coming to Dunbar and then nothing happens. He believes Stong's plans to expand in the next two to five years. But Campbell said he doesn't know when he might want to redevelop. He said Stong's has two and a half years remaining on its lease.

Cori Bonina, president of the familyowned grocery store, said preliminary discussions have occurred with the landowner, "but it is early days still."

Edwards is interested to see what will occur. "I'm on the fence in the sense that I love the lack of development in Dunbar, in a sense. There are wonderful businesses here," the 52-year old said. "But I know that change has to happen. I mean, I would love if 20 years down the road that I could still stay in Dunbar if I wanted to downsize and get a smaller place. It does make sense and it's just how they go about it.

Twitter: @Cheryl_Rossi