There’s an exciting new project afoot in downtown Peterborough and it is in line with an issue near and dear to the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce – the re-development of 2nd and 3rd floor units in downtown cores. In many cases, these spaces are under-utilized or have remained empty for a period of time.
The Chamber views these spaces as an opportunity, as increased residential settlement in the
downtown leads to increased economic activity in that area.
Sitting as General Committee, city council will discuss the approval of an intensification grant for 362 George Street North. This is the building on the northeast corner of George and Simcoe Streets that is also home to commercial businesses including The Speak Easy Café.
The grant is for $132,000 ($10 per square foot) and the owner is planning to build 14 two-storey apartments on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building.
A report by City Staff shows that the project is consistent with the desired intensification targets of 40% under the 2014 Provincial Policy Statement and the 2019 Growth Plan.
The project is also in line with the principles of Peterborough’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law.
The City has community grant and incentive programs that are available around residential needs in the community.
The Central Area Community Plan
This program offers financial incentives to stimulate private-sector investment and revitalization of the Central Area. Grant programs are provided to:
The Affordable Housing Community Plan
Financial incentives are provided to stimulate the construction of affordable housing in our community.
Providing affordable housing is a major social issue and a priority for most urban communities across
Ontario. By providing relief on fees for planning approvals, development charges, and property taxes, we can help lower rents, creating more affordable housing for residents. The Affordable Housing Community Improvement Plan also embraces home ownership models.
Heritage Property Tax Relief
Owners of designated heritage properties in the Central Area may be eligible for tax relief in the amount of 40% for residential properties or 20% for commercial properties.
Part of the Chamber's support for this type of redevelopment was in the form of a policy resolution to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
The recommendations included:
Back to our city incentive programs, they are in place to encourage redevelopment of varying degrees. We have a developer willing to invest in our community which helps our community. If your future vision of Peterborough includes a vibrant downtown core then this project is yet another step in achieving that goal.