Southport condo development to enliven Halifax’s south downtown

RAW Design, the award-winning architecture firm from Toronto, is taking their urban contemporary aesthetic to the east coast with a new mid-rise condo project. The new six-storey loft-style project in Halifax, dubbed Southport, playfully borrows design elements from the nearby shipping container terminal. Southport strives to be the south anchor to the main drag of the city at 1057 Barrington Street, close to eclectic shops, cafés, vibrant pubs, Dalhousie University and Saint Mary’s University, and located minutes from the Halifax Seaport.

The project is developed by Urban Capital of Toronto along with local partner Killam. Half of the 150 units in the development will be sold as condominiums, which will comprise the uppermost floors of the building – and the remainder will be rented out as apartments. Sizes range from 467-square-foot 1-bedroom units to a 980-square-foot penthouse, and prices range from the low $200,000s, peaking in the high $300,000s, according to Urban Capital partner David Wex. Condo sales begin this month out of the two small industrial buildings on the site; construction is slated to start next spring and should take about 18 months to complete.

The amenities space is perched on the roof, centred around a repurposed shipping container that makes up the building’s design. Outdoor seating offers enjoyment of an industrial aesthetic in a serene park-like setting. Indoors, residents will enjoy a flex space with a full kitchen and bar, lounge seating around a fireplace, a pool table and theatre area. An “extended living room” overlooks the city and port.

“Southport has been designed to showcase the robust industrial character of the Halifax port,” said director of RAW, Roland Rom Colthoff. “We have used the language of containers; the steel, the colours and the modularity, to create a living environment which takes pride in its setting and context. Southport has been designed to suit the lifestyle of urbanites who are proud of the industrial heritage of their city. It will feature a proud raw aesthetic in keeping with the industrial heritage of the harbour.”

The Toronto-based firm was recognized by the Ontario Association of Architects in 2009 as the profession’s Best Emerging Practice. While their project experience includes may varied building types and forms, an increasing demand to live downtown Toronto – along with the condo boom – has resulted in the emergence of a more modest type of development: the mid-rise.

“Mid-rise condos provide the opportunity for many people who do not want, or cannot afford, a house in the city to become part of a recognizable neighbourhood and build on its positive qualities,” said Colthoff. “Mid-rise condos also provide empty nesters and their children an opportunity to stay within a community they already know or were raised in.”