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Planning approval granted for new medical clinic

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Expanding service: Jay Soares, the physician who owns the HMC-Burnaby Urgent Care and Medical Imaging Clinic on Burnaby Street, has permission to demolish the The Arcade building on Burnaby Street, directly across the road from HMC-Burnaby Urgent Care (Photograph from planning documents)

A doctor has been granted planning permission to demolish a century-old Burnaby Street building to create new medical offices and residential units.

JJ Soares, medical director of Hamilton Medical Centre Ltd, proposed demolishing The Arcade in favour of a new, five-storey building across the road from its existing HMC-Burnaby Urgent Care and Medical Imaging Clinic.

Dr Soares said yesterday: “Hamilton Medical Centre is focused on filling gaps in Bermuda’s healthcare system and providing services where there is a genuine need.

“There are currently plans to redevelop The Arcade Building on Burnaby Street, which will enable us to expand our service offering.

“We look forward to announcing further details at the appropriate time.”

The arcade dates back to 1910 and in the early 1900s it was home to a grocery business, a shoe shop and a photography studio.

However, the property has now been vacant for more than 20 years and was described in a report prepared for the Development Applications Board as being in a state of disrepair.

“All of the upper two level windows have been removed and almost all are boarded up,” the report said.

“Additionally, in result of the neglect of the building, the architectural features of the building have diminished and appear to contain cracks and mould.”

Several proposals have been made for the site, with planning applications approved for the property in 2015, 2017 and 2021.

However, work on those projects never began.

Five stories: the approved plans for a new medical centre on Burnaby Street (Image from planning documents)

Under the new plan, the existing building would be demolished and a new five-storey building would be erected on the site.

The plans proposed diagnostics facilities on two below-ground floors, with medical offices on the ground floor and first floor.

The remaining floors would house seven residential units with four one-bedroom units and three two-bedroom units, including a penthouse.

The residential units would all include balconies, while the building would also feature a communal roof deck.

The DAB report said the Heritage Office initially did not support the proposal, but found that revised drawings showed a “significant improvement on the street-facing facades” which incorporated details from The Arcade.

“The masonry surrounds over the windows, balcony balustrades and mouldings add much needed character to the new development,” the report added.

“It allows the property to blend with the more decorative neighbouring properties and maintains the character of this side of Burnaby Street.”

Empty: one of the derelict spaces in The Arcade building on Burnaby Street (File photograph)

The DAB report noted that the proposal would come with community benefits.

“The proposed medical facility will add a new diagnostic facility for X-rays, mammograms and other radiology procedures,” the report said.

“The new centre will also contain a plethora of doctor’s offices which will provide benefits to the island's ageing population.

“It also proposes seven new residential units, aligning with the goal of increasing residents in the City of Hamilton. As a result, the wider community will benefit from this proposal.”

The application was formally approved by the DAB at their meeting this week.

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Published May 10, 2024 at 8:30 am (Updated May 10, 2024 at 8:30 am)

Planning approval granted for new medical clinic

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