The Return of the CIP

The Return of the CIP

On Monday night (May 15th), Council approved two CIP (Community Improvement Plan) incentive applications for one for 88 James St. and one for 10 Pleasant Ave.

88 James St. recieved a TIF (Tax Increment Finance Program) incentive of a 45% annual tax rebate over a 10-year period.

10 Pleasant Ave. recieved a BTIF (Brownfield Tax Increment Finance Program) incentive of  an 80% annual tax rebate over a 10-year period.

These projects are crucial to the revitalization of our downtown and the redevelopment and remediation of the former GM lands on Ontario St.

As a city we have committed to approving the building of 11,000 new homes by 2031. Our Mayor campagined on approving the building of 15,000 homes by 2031 and he won with an overwhelming victory.  How will this happen?  By supporting developments like these.

During the presentations and council discussions, it was stated repeatedly by councillors and a presenter, that these projects do not need support because they will get built no matter what. This is FALSE.

The same councillors and presenter have said, that developers are ‘rich’ and don’t need help.  Again, FALSE.

We have been told by staff and the development community, that on especially difficult sites especially those that are in need of massive remediation, the approved CIP incentive is sometimes used to help to secure with financing with lenders.  For lenders, it shows that the city believes in the viability of the project and is committed to seeing it happen.  In other cases the incentives provide additional financial support that helps to reduce the cost of the final homes.

We all have seen with raising intrest rates and more stringent requirements for obtaining mortgages, which have madee it harder and harder for the average home buyer – why do some think this isn’t the same for developers?

A couple of weeks ago we had a CIP training session with our Planning Department team.  We went through an exercise using Evergreen Ontario Affordable Housing Calculator  to understand how developers go through rigourous financial evaluations that determine if a project is viabale.  We learned that one thing that helps with viability of a project are CIP incentives.  Despite, the very clear numbers – some still balked at the clear numbers that showed that CIP incentives help to make projects like 10 Pleasant Ave and 88 James St. financially viable.

At our council meeting,  Mayor Siscoe made the point that, “Even in the years when we’re paying out these grants, we will still be receiving between 14 and 35 times more in tax revenue than we currently are. That is a good news story.”

There are many in our community who, point to other cities and say why can’t we be like them. Those cities we point to ALL have CIP incentives.  By denying CIP approvals, we are simply telling the development community – go somewhere else.

Development is a risk/reward business.  We as a city want – no – NEED more residential units in our city.  We need these and many more developments, to achieve the goals we have committed to.  We need to be a partner.  The CIP incentives are how we can be a partner.

Project Details

10 Pleasant Avenue
The proposed redevelopment and remediation project is outlined below:

  • A private road development containing a nine-storey apartment building with 351 dwelling units, 14 townhouse dwelling units, 490 square metres of residential convenience commercial uses at grade and located in the Ontario Carleton Node Priority Neighborhood.
  • Sustainability features including permeable pavement, silva cells, additional bicycle parking, bike repair station, and rooftop plantings / greening.
  • Public realm enhancements, including an activated streetscape, integrated landscaping, pedestrian scale-lighting, and street furniture / fixtures.
  • Environmental remediation of the 1.16 hectare property equal to an estimated $7.96 million in eligible costs and meets the 1% minimum remediation cost threshold requirement.

The BTIF incentive requested is $568,869 annually with a total value of $5,688,688 over 10 years

88 James Street
The proposed redevelopment project is outlined below:

  • A mixed-use, 30 storey tower consisting of 276 dwelling units, 482.2 square metres of commercial space at grade and 520.8 square metres of office space on the second floor, and located in the Downtown Priority Neighbourhood.
  • Sustainability features including electrical vehicle charging stations, silva cells additional bicycle parking, rooftop plantings / greening and high-albedo surfacing.
  • Public realm enhancements, including an activated streetscape, enhanced landscaping and wall mural.

The TIF incentive requested is $163,025 annually with a total value of $1,630,249 over 10 years.