by Vance Gutzman
The proverbial shovels hit the ground in earnest recently on one of the most ambitious construction projects to take shape in Deep River’s recent history.
TSH Development Group announced plans late in 2018 to build apartment buildings at the corner of Poplar and Montcalm Streets, on the vacant lot behind the JL Gray Building.
The announcement was greeted with open arms by many people in the community, who lauded the proposed development for filling a void for much-needed rental housing in town.
The development is planned in three phases, with the first being a four-storey, 32-unit apartment complex followed, depending on how that first building fills up, by two three-storey, 12-unit buildings.
With an excavator and a bulldozer hard at work in the background, TSH president Tim Streek held an informal gathering at the construction site July 3 to celebrate the start of construction and give an update on the development’s future progress.
Work on the project was initially slated to begin this past spring, but the COVID-19 pandemic put pause to those plans.
“Covid was a little bump in the road for us,” Streek told those gathered at the construction site.
“But we’re comfortable where we sit now.”
Among the gathering were a number of local shareholders in the project, and Streek took pains to single out “their commitment to investing in the community, which is exciting.”
“We’re celebrating a start to what is a first phase,” Streek said. “With opportunity to continue to grow should economic climate and interest continue to grow.”
Streek said the company is optimistic that construction of the 32-unit apartment building in the first phase will be completed by the middle of August in 2021, and noted that finding tenants for the building won’t be an arduous task.
“We have a long list of interested tenants,” he said.
TSH, he noted, has “a good group of local trades” involved in the construction timeline, with construction materials also being sourced in the local region.
“That’s important to us too,” Streek stressed.
Streek’s words, coupled with the sight of construction taking place on the first phase of the development, was greeted by open arms by those in attendance, including Deep River Mayor Sue D’Eon.
“We’re really excited this is starting,” she told Streek. “I’m very appreciative that you invested in our beautiful town.”
That was a sentiment shared by Monica Mulvihill, who chaired the town’s housing advisory committee, which identified the need for apartment housing such as what is currently being built in downtown Deep River.
“This is an exciting day,” Mulvihill told Streek. “It makes all the work done by our housing advisory committee worthwhile.”
Streek, in turn, took pains to spread the praise around.
“It takes a team. It takes a village,” he said of the combined efforts which have lifted the development off the blueprints and into reality.
“And now here we are, digging a hole.”
Tom Hoffman is supervising construction of the project, as he has on a number of other TSH developments, and told the NRT “we’ve got the best trades in the Ottawa Valley.”
“I hand-chose them,” Hoffman said.
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