Township issues building code order to Arthur Green Developments

Renovations and contruction to Sussman’s building adding 11 new rental apartments

ARTHUR – Wellington North has issued a compliance order to a Caledon-based developer adding 11 new rental apartments to the Sussman’s building at 143 George Street.

Issued by township deputy chief building official Brian Corley on March 7, the order states Arthur Green Developments is operating without a building permit, in contravention of the Building Code Act.

Until a permit is issued for demolition and construction in the “northwest portion” of the building, any ongoing work there is illegal, chief building official Darren Jones told the Advertiser by phone.

Jones would not speak to the nature of the work in that portion of the building.

A copy of the order, taped to a wooden, fence-like wall blocking the entrance of the former Father’s Heart Healing Ministries building, states an application must be made for a permit by March 21, or all construction materials installed without a permit are to be removed.

Provincial law requires orders to be visibly posted.

Jones was reluctant to say much beyond what’s stated in the order, and wouldn’t say if the order was a result of a complaint or proactive inspection.

He did confirm there are four open building permits for the address: for demolition, construction and renovation work related to residential and commercial units.

If the compliance order isn’t adhered to, the township could escalate to a stop work order, but developer and builder Paolo Pambianchi, who is also behind renovations at the former Mount Forest Tavern building 20 minutes away, says it won’t come to that.

“The architect and engineer are preparing documents to provide to the building department,” Pambianchi said by phone on March 17.

The work is part of significant changes coming to what is colloquially known as “the Sussman’s building” – home to Sussman’s Men’s Wear – consisting of several units along George Street and bordering Frederick Street East.

According to planning documents submitted to the township, ongoing work includes:

  • plumbing and fire code-related renovations;
  • renovation of a warehouse and loading area into seven, two-floor rental apartment units ranging in size from a total of 570 to 678 square feet;
  • renovation of the former Harvest Family Thrift store into an 852-square-foot fast food restaurant; and
  • converting an attic storage space above an existing commercial ground floor unit (adjacent to the former Harvest Family Thrift location) into four new apartment units ranging from 566 to 613 total square feet.

“We’re striving to, number one, update and renovate these buildings, which are in dire need of it, and number two, to create rental housing combined with good quality commercial exposure,” Pambianchi explained.

Pambianchi was hesitant to say when all the work would be completed but guessed “within about a year.”

He confirmed murals honouring Arthur’s veterans painted on a wall along Frederick Street East will remain, and if needed, can be touched up by the artist.

Harvey Kozinets of Sussman’s said by phone there aren’t any renovations being completed to the store, but there will eventually be more store space once construction next door is finished.