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Federal loan supports Sault apartment development

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The federal government is providing a low-interest loan of $25 million for new rental units in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.

The funding will flow through the government’s Apartment Construction Loan Program, which is aimed at increasing rental stock across the country.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held Friday at 110 Pim St., but construction of the apartment complex began late last year.

The city granted approval for the project in 2020, days before the first COVID-19 lockdown went into effect. With construction now in full swing, Mayor Matthew Shoemaker said the development will transform downtown.

“The greatest deterrent to the type of things that make people feel unsafe in the downtown is having more people down here,” Shoemaker said.

“And when you bring lots of people downtown, it creates a vibrancy and a feeling of security that, simply, foot patrols and police presence cannot ever do.”

“The impact on downtown is going to be absolutely fantastic,” said Coun. Lisa Vezeau-Allen, who represents the downtown ward.

“People need to go buy groceries, they need to go grab coffee, they need to go have lunch. It’s going to be more activation in the downtown. It’s going to be a beautiful spot. I can only see positives happening from this.”

Sault Ste. Marie Liberal MP Terry Sheehan said Friday’s announcement is one of many.

“The Legion project, transitioning schools to housing, a number of Indigenous housing projects, this one, and there’s more that I’m working on, and I want to continue to support this growth that we have seen in Sault Ste. Marie, this economic growth,” Sheehan said.

The six-storey building will feature 108 rental units for families and individuals. It’s expected to be finished in Spring 2025.

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