View to the southwest above the Pelham Arena grounds, Sept. 2017. LALLY HOMES

John Lally says he’s moving in himself

In a Town of Pelham survey conducted in early 2019, 85% of respondent residents indicated an interest in selling the old arena property at 1120 Haist Street.

They’ve gotten their wish.

Mayor Marvin Junkin confirmed with the Voice last week that Lally Homes has purchased the 4.5-acre site, and is planning a development to feature 26 bungalow townhouses on 50-foot lots, 8 detached bungalows on 50-foot lots, and three detached bungalows on 60-foot lots, for a total of 37 units.

The parcel was listed for sale last summer at $3.2 million, but according to Pelham’s Director of Corporate Services and Treasurer Teresa Quinlin, 1120 Haist Street sold for $2.5 million.

Junkin said that council was “very, very enthusiastic” about the project, and “absolutely loves” the site plan that has been developed after taking into consideration extensive feedback from proximal neighbours.

Pelham Mayor Marvin Junkin, left, with Lally Homes president John Lally. DON RICKERS

Company president John Lally refers to the project as “a subdivision designed with community in mind.” The entire development will be surrounded by green space, and connected by walking trails. Existing pine trees will be part of the landscape, as will as an adjoining park. Landscaping and lighting will be included, and overflow parking will be provided. The subdivision will be accessible from both Haist Street and Welland Road.

“Not only will we be utilizing green building products for sustainability, we will also be hiring exclusively local planners and tradespeople to build these quality, energy-efficient homes,” said Lally.

Houses will have single or double garages, and open-concept interiors with nine- or ten-foot-high ceilings. Lally has proposed racquet courts in the design for paddle board, pickle ball, and possibly tennis.

The development will feature homes with garage access by an alleyway to the rear, and private backyards.

“They’ll be able to come out of their front doors and enjoy the park,” said Lally, who indicated that both council and the local neighbours had a lot of input in terms of the site plan, and are happy with the lot sizes.

“We knew that protection of this beautiful parkland was important to them, and that four or five story multiplex buildings were not going to suitable.”

An active player in the retirement home industry, Lally Homes has also developed a number of golf course communities. Lally said his father designed and built 30 golf courses, with about half of them being golf course communities with subdivisions included in the site plan. He said he understands the demand for housing for seniors who want independent living.

Currently a resident of St. Catharines, Lally plans on relocating his family to Fonthill to take up residence in one of the bungalows in the new development.

“If anybody has complaints, they won’t have far to go,” he said with a laugh.

An existing steel Quonset hut at the back of the arena, along with anything from the arena that can be salvaged and reused, is going to the benefit of local non-profit organizations.

Junkin suggested that a bidding process may be drafted, and an auction held at a future date.

“For some Pelham folks, there will be a lot of memories in that building,” said Lally.

Demolition of the old arena, built in 1967, is expected to commence next spring, with the entire development to be completed by the summer of 2022. Entry level pricing for units will likely start at under $600,000.

Lally encouraged Pelham residents to visit, or contact him personally at (416) 708-9777 for specific details of the development.