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Luxury development in Halifax and how it’s forcing some businesses out: ‘I’ll have no money’

Business owners in Halifax are expressing frustrations as a new residential-commercial development is expected to force the relocation — and potential closure — of several establishments operating in the city’s Spring Garden Road area.

Dexel, a Halifax-based residential development company, will spearhead a mixed-use development that aims to be “a driving force for the rejuvenation of the Spring Garden district,” according to its website. The new structure will be built in the area of Spring Garden Road and Carlton Street.

The project, known as the Spring Garden West development, will be home to medical offices, commercial spaces and more than 300 luxury apartments. Halifax councillors approved Dexel’s proposal for the 30-storey building in January.

Kong On Jean, owner of Jean’s Chinese Restaurant, has seen his business become a staple of the area’s restaurant scene over the past 20 years. Now, he’s at risk of losing everything he’s built as a result of the new development in the area.

“I put all my life in here and worked really hard to build up the family and if they tear down the building, I have nothing,” he said.

“I cannot retire, I’ll have no money.”

In addition to concerns regarding his business’s sustainability, Jean is also worried about the potential repercussions for his 20-person staff.

“If I close the business, what are they going to do?” he asked.

“I have 20 people working for me at the moment; what are they going to do?”

Jean said he isn’t able to sell his restaurant space as the prospect of the entire building being demolished will scare prospective buyers away.

“I work hard. I try my best. It’s crazy in this country, if you have money, you can do whatever you want,” he said. “They can do anything. They buy you

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