Barrie city councillors want to move forward with a plan to transform an empty office building into residential units.

On Monday night, councillors gave their initial approval to put 112 residential units into the Collier Centre. The change still has to be ratified by full council at its next meeting.

Council would also like to see the developer secure a grocery store for the site as originally planned. The city hasn't decided yet if it will also lease office space in the building.

At the same time, councillors rejected a proposal for a large apartment complex in the east end.

The 11-storey building on Johnson Street would have 215 units and be located next to an existing apartment building.

Councillors feel that would be too many units for the area, which was music to the ears of many in the public gallery at city hall who oppose the complex.

A final vote will take place at the next full council meeting. 

If council rejects it outright, the developer could make changes or appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.