City Square Condo Developer Says He Has to Cancel Development Due to City Fees

New Horizon, the developer of the City Square condo buildings at Park and Robinson, says the proposed 11-storey phase 3 building – approved by Council on May 14, 2014 – is not financially viable based upon the City’s development charges discounts in the Downtown Core and the cost of parkland dedications.

Jeff Paikin, the owner of New Horizon and Hamilton’s 2013 Citizen of the Year, is asking Council to review the Downtown Core incentives boundaries and parkland dedication fees. Paikin is requesting to speak to Councillors at the September 3rd Planning Committee meeting.

Paikin’s development is two blocks south of the boundary for Downtown development charge discounts.

Paikin’s professional planner states the DCs cost $11,400 to $17,300 more per unit outside the boundary, making his project uncompetitive and too costly compared to projects in the Core such as the Connaught that enjoy full incentives.

New Horizon argues their development is advancing the same city-building goals as developments in the Core, and the same incentives should be provided.

City Square Development Rendering. A recent development in Durand which sparked community opposition. (New Horizon Handout)City Square Development Rendering. A recent development in Durand which sparked community opposition. (New Horizon Handout)

#### Parkland Dedication Fees

The City charges parkland dedication fees on all new developments in the City. The funds are used to purchase properties to create or expand public parks.

Each unit in Phase 3 of City Square is being charged $8,630 in parkland dedication fees. Phases 1 and 2 both received significant discounts on parkland dedication fees.

The units were initially assess $5,000 each, this was decreased to $900 per unit.

Review Requested

Paikin plans to request the City review the Downtown incentive boundaries, review alternatives to the current parkland dedication fee structure to better reflect the benefits of high-density development, and in the interim, apply the City of Waterloo’s parkland dedication formula to City Square Phase 3.

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