Kitchener’s 48 Weber St. complex ready to turn over a new leaf

The notorious apartment on 48 Weber St., is in the midst of a significant overhaul, with the first units of the building slated to be ready for tenants by December.

In July, the heritage building was bought by a Toronto real estate developer after city employees found it was littered with graffiti and human feces. It was declared a fire hazard unfit for human habitation.

The 40-unit complex was shuttered and entirely gutted with new floors, walls, doors, windows, plumbing, electrical and a new roof. Some bricks have been cleaned up, repaired and replaced and new tenants in the first eight completed units are set to enter next week.

The building’s project manager Stephen Litt is working to revamped building, which has endured some “typical” construction delays due to custom fits needed for the old complex.

“The final result is completely worth the wait,” Litt said. “Given the scope of work here, I think we’re doing quite well,” he added.

“It’s still a construction war zone, without a doubt, but that’s kind of a fun thing,” he explained. “All the units have been tiled, all the kitchens are in … we’re into finishes now.”

The only things left to do are electrical, plumbing and trim work, Litt said. He added the cachet of keeping a lot of original features such as crown mouldings and big baseboards should be a selling point for new tenants.

“The suites are actually quite big,” Litt said. “The location’s fantastic.”

Alluring architecture
Walking through a typical unit, it’s clear there has been plenty of attention to detail.

“Each unit has a natural gas fireplace … all the bedrooms are actually quite large … finished incredibly well.”

Built in 1930, the complex is considered a heritage building and had to be preserved, according to city policy.

“Part of what I’m doing right now is preaching how cool this building actually is,” Litt explained. “It’s very unique, architecturally.”

The project manager said getting rid of some overgrown trees outside of the complex and adding some fresh paint really allowed passersby to notice how elegant and unique the complex really is.

New lights are coming to the courtyard aimed at creating a cool and bright space for residents. And finally, crews worked closely with police who conducted a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) audit to improve security, which Litt said adds value.

“The building really speaks for itself.”