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Former Kitchener Frame Property
#1
Former Kitchener Frame Property
1011 and 1111 Homer Watson Bvld, Kitchener
Website: 

Developer: 18690781 Ontario Ltd (Gary Ball, and Zelinka Priamo Ltd)
Architect: 
Project: The subject plan includes 2 commercial blocks, 8 employment blocks, 3 park/future employment blocks, two new local streets, a stormwater management pond, and rights-of-way


Site plan

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Location

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Site conditions prior to demolition

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#2
Kitchener Frame plant comes down as a new era for the property begins
March 8, 2012 | rsimone@therecord.com | The Record | LINK



Quote:KITCHENER — Piece by piece, the iconic Kitchener Frame plant on Homer Watson Boulevard is disappearing, as demolition crews clear the way for a new era of industrial and commercial uses.

The complex, still known to area residents as the Budd plant, has been a fixture on the huge 49.7-hectare property for 45 years. Budd Canada Inc. began making frames in the original part of the building in 1967. From there, it expanded and grew with new additions.

In its heyday in the 1970s, the plant employed as many as 3,000 people, and entire subdivisions grew up around Homer Watson Boulevard to accommodate its workers. Then, the work shifted away from North America. The plant struggled under different owners over the years, and was finally shut down in 2009.

But two investors, Gary Ball of Kitchener and Martin Pathak of Tecumseh bought the property from Martinrea International Inc. in 2010, and they have plans to turn it into a new multi-million dollar industrial and commercial development.

Ball said two newer sections of the former plant that are at the back of the property near the rail line will remain for the time being.

“There is one building that is about 80,000 square feet and the other is about 55,000 square feet that we will leave for the time being and we hope to find tenants or buyers for those buildings,” Ball said.

But everything else will be gone, probably by the beginning of July, he said. Environmental remediation is happening at the same time as the demolition, he added.

The developers have an application into the city to rezone about 12-hectares for commercial and retail uses at the corner of Homer Watson Boulevard and Bleams Road.

The rest will be industrial and will be built out as the developers find manufacturers that want to put industrial uses on the property.

“We will be dividing the land into different parcels as we get people who would like to build industrial facilities there,” he said. The manufacturers might buy lots and construct their own buildings, or else work with the developers to have their facilities built for them and lease the space.

The Budd Park portion, that contains soccer fields and ball diamonds operated by the city, will continue to be leased by the city for the time being, Ball said.

The redevelopment should be good for the whole city, Ball said.

“I think if we can get the commercial component going, the industrial will follow,” he said. “The market is just waiting to see the construction starting there, but as people see buildings going up and roads going in, the rest will naturally follow.”

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#3
No settlement in former Kitchener Frame property zoning dispute
June 6, 2013 |  [i][b]Heather Abrey | Kitchener Post | LINK[/i][/b]

Quote:No settlement has been reached, and it’s likely the City of Kitchener will meet the owners of the former Kitchener Frame property, located at 1011 Homer Watson Blvd., at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) this fall.

“Before you go into an OMB they strongly encourage conversation. At this stage, we’re still on track to meet at the OMB,” said Rod Regier, executive director of economic development for the city.

“From a policy point of view, I think the city feels very confident about the process. I think there’s a strong policy case for the city decision on the zoning. Of course, there’s always a risk that the OMB won’t see it your way.”

The hearing is scheduled to begin on Oct. 15 at 10:30 a.m. in the Heritage Room of Kitchener City Hall.

The owners of the property — three businessmen, including Cambridge resident Gary Ball — and the planning firm Zelinka Priamo Ltd. are taking the city to the OMB to challenge a zoning decision made last fall.

The OMB is a quasi-judicial body that settles land use disputes in the province.

They applied for a zone change that would allow them to build a commercial centre, including big-box retail and a grocery store, on 11.46 hectares of the nearly 50-hectare property. The city rejected the application, saying the property is unique in Kitchener due to its size, rail access and proximity to the 401 and should be preserved as “employment lands.”

Employment lands are areas well suited to industries that create jobs, and city staff say those industries don’t include retail.

City staff have told council that the province’s Places to Grow Act, which directs municipalities to preserve employment lands, will back up the decision.

Greg Priamo, the principal planner with Zelinka Priamo Ltd., told council there is little appetite in the industrial community for massive pieces of property and the city would be better off parceling it into small pieces, which the applicants’ plan allows for.

However, Zelinka Priamo Ltd. is currently working on a proposal in Caledon that could see a Canadian Tire distribution centre built on a 73 hectare site — one use for a property that is 23 hectares larger than 1011 Homer Watson Blvd.

The current zoning allows for car washes, car dealerships, warehouses, commercial parking facilities, gas stations, truck transport terminals and more.
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#4
City settles for retail
October 17, 2013 |  Heather Abrey | Kitchener Post | LINK



Quote:The city has struck a deal that will see big box retail and a grocery store on the former Kitchener Frame property at 1011 and 1111 Homer Watson Blvd.

As part of the negotiated agreement, the 122-acre property is being carved into segments. Twenty-eight acres will be used for retail and commercial while

94 acres will be kept for industrial uses. Caps have been placed on the square footage that can be used for big box retail and a grocery store.

The previous zoning for the property allowed for uses like car dealerships, storage lockers and other businesses that take up a lot of space but provide little in the way of employment.

In exchange for the zoning and official plan amendment needed to build a grocery store and big box retail, the developer agreed to remove those low-employment uses from the zoning for the 94 acres of land that will stay industrial. From that industrial land, the ownership of 40 acres, currently being used as Budd Park, will be transferred to the city at no cost.

In 2012, the city was told it would have to vacate part of Budd Park in two years, which would have meant the loss of four soccer fields. The balance of the park, housing two more soccer fields and the tennis courts, was under a long-term lease until 2077, but the property owner was disputing the agreement in court.

The new deal means Budd Park will remain intact. Owning the land means the city also has the option of using it for industrial development in the future.

“I think in the end it was a win-win situation for everyone concerned,” said Ward 2 Coun. Berry Vrbanovic, who is also chair of the planning committee.

When the request to rezone the property first came before committee and council in 2012, several councillors, knowing that much of the plan didn’t require any permission from the city to go forward, advocated for a compromise.

“The position we’re at now is exactly what I was pushing for back, six, eight months ago, which the company, at that time, was prepared to do a lot of things for the city — to give a great deal,” said Ward 3 Coun. John Gazzola.

“The majority of council did not support that, and now they’ve done what I call a flip-flop.”
Gazzola believes that time and money was wasted on both sides. All parties had to pay legal fees, while the city racked up staff time and the developer had to pay for “high-priced planning consultants” Zelinka Priamo Ltd.

“It’s a good thing. Should have happened sooner,” he said.
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#5
Quote:“The position we’re at now is exactly what I was pushing for back, six, eight months ago, which the company, at that time, was prepared to do a lot of things for the city — to give a great deal,” said Ward 3 Coun. John Gazzola.

"The majority of council did not support that, and now they’ve done what I call a flip-flop.”
Gazzola believes that time and money was wasted on both sides. All parties had to pay legal fees, while the city racked up staff time and the developer had to pay for “high-priced planning consultants” Zelinka Priamo Ltd.

Well that sounds like a lovely person to work with on Council.
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#6
No one even ran against him :/
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#7
It's funny how Schneiders said they had to move to Hamilton 'cos there wasn't any industrial land in Kitchener for them... hmm.
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#8
I thought Schneiders was pretty clear Hamilton was willing to give them more money and that's why they moved?
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#9
Saw some work here for the first time in a while. A new access road from Bleams - directly opposite Fallowfield - is being installed.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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#10
There's also a new road peeking out at Homer Watson, immediately north of the current road
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