A much-needed downtown residential development is one step closer to becoming a reality in the City of Greater Sudbury.

The proposal is for more than 800 affordable housing units to be built, and the city appears to be giving it the 'green light.

'The Manitou' will consist of two residential towers, with 826 dwellings, that will be split almost down the middle between senior and affordable housing units. It will sit on a hill above Brady Square, overlooking downtown Sudbury.  

The project is now moving forward after being approved for rezoning by the city's planning committee.

"What downtown Sudbury needs more than anything is people; people living in the area, walking the streets, eating at the restaurants, shopping the stores. 826 units would fast forward our downtown and our city in a serious way,” said Sudbury City Councillor Geoff McCausland.

City staff estimates that the project will generate $2.1 million in tax revenue and $8.4 million in development charges.

Not just a financial boost for the city, the agent representing Kaymic Developments says the project will also have a huge effect on the environment.

Jack Wolofsky is an engineer who says the designed to produce less greenhouse gas emissions.

"It’s designed to meet Canadian commitments to the Montreal Accords and the Paris climate control agreements, such as net zero energy. We're pumping heat out of our sewer line, which passes underground; we're recycling rain water,” said Wolofsky.

One of the issues facing the project is parking.

Under the current by-law, over 1,200 spaces would be needed to meet the requirement of the 826 units.

However, the developer thinks roughly 260 spaces would be adequate, as shuttle services would be provided to residents and it would also encourage the use of public transit and cycling paths within the city.

Councillor McCausland has asked city staff to review the parking by-law and bring back a report in the near future to the planning committee.

In the meantime, parking for the project won’t be set in stone until the site plan stage.