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American Block Redevelopment | 3 fl | Proposed
#16
(10-26-2015, 12:33 PM)nms Wrote: I think that Kitchener should be proactive an encourage property owners to provide residential options for a variety of income levels and ages, not just the late-20s-early-30s, university educated demographic.

Not that I really want to hijack this thread, but in practical terms how would you suggest doing that?
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#17
The same way that the Cities enforce other developement standards. A developer comes with a proposal to redevelop a property and the City works the plan through the planning process. Some items may be up front requirements, others might be carrots that could be used as trade-off for other considerations. For instance, accessibility requirements could be added at the beginning of the process such as making sure that a certain percentage of your suites are universally accessible as built or otherwise capable of being easily retrofitted after the fact. Similarly, if a developer comes with a variance request, the City could respond by suggesting that the developer choose from a variety of options to incorporate into their project. You want to add a penthouse floor? Fine, but you'll also need to include a floor suitable for a senior to move in and then age in place, or a floor that includes two or three-bedroom suites suitable for families.
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#18
Enforcing zoning bylaws is easy.  And accessibility has a legislative framework as well.

Forcing developers to provide inexpensive housing units (however this is defined) is rarely required as part of the standard zoning, in any city in North America, though.  And if the builder doesn't ask for a variance (for example, penthouses don't require a variance), there are no levers.  Provide property tax rebates?  Hmmm, that really means the taxpayers will subsidize such buildings.

Also, the minimum cost of a unit is largely fixed, and large savings are hard to find (as recently discussed in another thread).  So if the builder is building $250K condos or $1500/month rental units, it's pretty had to find a way to offer $125K condo units or $750/month rental units in the same building, even if you shrink them a bit more and don't provide parking or balconies.

I agree with the sentiment but there really are no easy solutions.
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#19
(11-16-2015, 03:30 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Enforcing zoning bylaws is easy.  And accessibility has a legislative framework as well.

Forcing developers to provide inexpensive housing units (however this is defined) is rarely required as part of the standard zoning, in any city in North America, though.  And if the builder doesn't ask for a variance (for example, penthouses don't require a variance), there are no levers.  Provide property tax rebates?  Hmmm, that really means the taxpayers will subsidize such buildings.

Also, the minimum cost of a unit is largely fixed, and large savings are hard to find (as recently discussed in another thread).  So if the builder is building $250K condos or $1500/month rental units, it's pretty had to find a way to offer $125K condo units or $750/month rental units in the same building, even if you shrink them a bit more and don't provide parking or balconies.

I agree with the sentiment but there really are no easy solutions.

Pretty sure I've heard of it being mandated in a number of places, although not in Ontario. For instance, Chicago (under attack): http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/09/c...es/403042/; Cambridge MA: http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/housing/f...developers
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#20
Chicago's ordinance applies only to conversions to residential zoning (for example, brownfield sites). Cambridge is more wide-ranging, but even there it's only for new construction and would not apply to the renovation of American Block (which is where we started).

The rules for Cambridge are pretty complex, not easy for a bystander to assess the prices or costs of such units.
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#21
A piece in today's Record about the construction/restoration now underway on the east end of the American Hotel block - six bachelor apartments above, retail space below.

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6127...e-in-kitc/
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#22
That's great news, it seems like forever since the fire and the building sat there half exposed to all elements, never looked very pretty.
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#23
(11-20-2015, 08:48 AM)panamaniac Wrote: A piece in today's Record about the construction/restoration now underway on the east end of the American Hotel block - six bachelor apartments above, retail space below.

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6127...e-in-kitc/

This is not the American Block development though right?  It's next door neighbour.
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#24
(11-20-2015, 01:36 PM)Spokes Wrote:
(11-20-2015, 08:48 AM)panamaniac Wrote: A piece in today's Record about the construction/restoration now underway on the east end of the American Hotel block - six bachelor apartments above, retail space below.

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6127...e-in-kitc/

This is not the American Block development though right?  It's next door neighbour.

The current work is on the opposite end of the building.  Work on the Queen St side is still just a proposal.
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#25
Ahh I understand. Thanks for clarifying.
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#26
I noticed today that the original brick façade of the building on the east side has been stripped away. I'm assuming that it is to be re-built using the original brick?
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#27
Although it looks like it's being done a bit casually, some guys have been cleaning out the second and third floors of the American Hotel Block (Queen St side) for the last couple of weeks. The plastic air tubes sticking out from the windows make me wonder what they're blowing out into the street. I assume that not much can be done on this project until plans for a tenant on the main floor have been firmed up. As far as I can tell, no building permits have been issued yet.
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#28
(04-20-2016, 04:42 PM)panamaniac Wrote: Although it looks like it's being done a bit casually, some guys have been cleaning out the second and third floors of the American Hotel Block (Queen St side) for the last couple of weeks.  The plastic air tubes sticking out from the windows make me wonder what they're blowing out into the street.  I assume that not much can be done on this project until plans for a tenant on the main floor have been firmed up.  As far as I can tell, no building permits have been issued yet.

Those plastic tubes are usually indicators of asbestos remediation.  There is likely a big fan sucking air through a filter and exhausting onto the street.

Just my guess from seeing these in action once before.
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#29
The construction scaffolding came down today on the façade of the east side unit of the American Hotel Block. The front appears to be an exact replica of the original building, although in red brick.
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#30
Is this project still ongoing? The last time I went by I believe Capers was still operating there, which indicates that the project's main floor has not progressed according to the plan in the article below, or the project is longer term for completely .

http://ohminc.ca/press-release/ohm-devel...can-hotel/
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