(ABOVE: Flewellyn-Jones House, November 2013.)
Last January, City Council approved heritage designation for the Flewellyn-Jones House on Fernbank Road, just east of the Shea Road roundabout. I noticed that a lot of the brush and overgrowth had been cleared away from the property recently and I was curious about the status of the redevelopment plans.
Jennifer Hassani is the investor who is redeveloping the property. She says the intent is to convert the building into a medical facility, but first the City needs to approve a zoning change for the land.
“We’ve spent all summer basically getting everything done in preparation for our rezoning application. The house is zoned development reserve, which is basically a holding zone. Before the medical facility can get up and running we have to rezone it to mixed-use commercial,” she says.
I was glad to hear that the house is in pretty good shape. There was some concern at the time of designation that the foundation was too far gone for repair and that the house might have to be moved elsewhere on the property.
“We’ve done a lot of work on the stone over the summer with masons who are specialized at working on heritage buildings and they did a lot of repointing,” she says. “We did all the peaks, the foundation, the chimney, and the corners. As budget permits we’ll go back and do some of the cosmetic repointing over time,” she says.
The project received a $5,000 matching grant from the city to offset the cost of some of the repairs.
Media reports from earlier this year suggested that the medical facility would be focused on treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), however Hassani says that’s only one of the specialties being considered for the facility.
“I’ll be leasing to a doctor and a couple of therapists. They have their own different specialties. They will run their own separate practices but their work will complement each other.”
“They wanted something that was perhaps not quite as sterile as a traditional office building. That’s the reason that we’re drawn to the stone house. It’s a lovely building. Over the next few months it’ll get a new roof and new windows. The shed on the side as literally collapsing so that will need to go. There’s a lot of things that need to be done but it’s quite a lovely building.”