, ,

Council to discuss downtown real estate in camera (Sept. 14)

Committee of the Whole Meeting

Date: September 14, 2015
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Council Chambers, Level 2, City Hall

 

City council sitting as the Committee of the Whole will receive a confidential presentation on downtown real estate by Scott Stewart, General Manager of Development & Infrastructure,  Allan Magi, Executive Director of Corporate Works  and Ron Steiginga, Manager of Realty Services.

The presentation will include an assessment of development options for each of the city’s surface parking lots, including employment uses.

Downtown Parking LotsThe city owns a number of land parcels downtown, including parking lots and public buildings (for example City Hall) and council periodically reviews their best use.

For example, several council terms ago, the city issued a Request for Expressions of Interest in developing the Elizabeth Street parking lot across from Village Square. There were a number of responses, but all were set aside when McMaster expressed an interest in locating a teaching campus here. Ultimately, McMaster decided to locate on the North Service Road.

My vision for this lot is an office development, with possibly public uses in the ground floor. Economic professional development is key to the long term health and vibrancy of the downtown. The city can assist in a number of ways, including providing land as well as providing parking, via the parking reserve built up through a levy on downtown businesses, monthly and daily permit fees, and fines.

As of this writing, we had not received any advance materials for the workshop, however, my goal will be to work with staff to release whatever information we can so the public can participate in this important conversation on how best to leverage our publicly-owned downtown real estate for economic development and public benefit.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

What's your take?