December 16th, 2013
The University of Windsor’s law faculty will potentially have a new place of residency as the framework for a deal has been put in place to make that happen, all that is needed is a sign-off from Ottawa. The federal employees have agreed to become a new tenant in a new city hall. As the president of the University of Windsor put it, the ‘legal education experience’ would be brought closer to Windsor courts and the legal community as a whole. This would just be one small step towards revitalizing the downtown core with the Social Work and Professional Education Centre which will open at the former Windsor Star building in 2015, as well as the school of arts and creative innovation being created at the former Major F.A. Tilston Armoury, capped off with the former bus depot being renovated for the film production program.
In what University of Windsor president Alan Wildeman calls “a very extraordinary commitment” by the municipality, Windsor city council on Monday approved a $15-million grant to lure the university’s law faculty downtown.
And in a three-way deal announced by Mayor Eddie Francis going into Monday’s 2014 budget deliberations, the feds have agreed to transfer their Paul Martin Building to the city and to become a long-term tenant in a new city hall.
Details are still being worked out, and Francis cautioned it was at the “framework of a deal” stage,but he said senior federal bureaucrats have come to an agreement with the city and all that’s required is Ottawa’s sign-off. As part of passing the 2014 budget — which includes a sixth straight freeze on city spending — council approved a $12-million expansion added to a new city hall for which it had already previously earmarked $35 million.
“Today’s announcement certainly presents us with a great opportunity,” said Wildeman, describing it as a “transformative” opportunity.
Francis said a city hall “tenant framework” had been worked out with Public Works and Government Services Canada. The department was informed after council’s in camera meeting that the city had approved the lease terms and conditions.
Public Works had previously announced that the 350 Canada Revenue Agency employees would be vacating the Paul Martin building by 2017. About 11 per cent of the heritage building is occupied by Canada Post.
Getting the feds to partner as a tenant in the new city hall means keeping federal employees in the downtown core. If the plan moves forward, Wildeman said it would mean close to 700 law faculty students and staff would make the move into the downtown, bringing “the legal education experience” closer to the courts and Windsor’s legal community.
Francis said the city’s “financial role” in getting the U of W law faculty into that location is also intended to “leverage” additional funding from senior governments.
“The university is off and running,” said Francis.
“Today’s announcement was a key piece … certainly, the $15 million was a very key piece for us,” said Wildeman, adding the university’s attention will now focus on leveraging those other sources of funding.
The move of the law school would significantly increase the university’s presence in the core. By 2015 the new Social Work and Professional Education Centre , which has more than 500 students, staff and faculty, will open at the site of the former Windsor Star building at Pitt and Ferry streets. Soon after the former Major F.A. Tilston Armoury building will be transformed into a school of arts and creative innovation on University Avenue and the former Grey Bus depot across the street will be renovated for the film production program.
Tags: Windsor Economy News, Windsor Real estate, Windsor Real estate Market News
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December 9th, 2013
Windsor has been taking strides to become more modern with the addition of bike paths, investments in public libraries, restoration of heritage buildings, the transition to a more ‘green’ city with high efficiency street lights and electric buses, as well as diversifying its infrastructure. Quality of life has become a quintessential issue to Mayor Eddie Francis as it is one of the most important factors for people who are considering visiting or moving to Windsor. Windsor’s community is on its way to shedding its identity as a lunch bucket town and could be perceived as a city of innovation and progression.
A city that builds bike paths. A city that invests in libraries. A city that restores heritage buildings.
Where am I?
I’m in the new Windsor.
“We are a very different city than we once were,” Mayor Eddie Francis declared in his State of the City address last week.
We sure are. Windsor is diversifying, from CS Wind to the planned cargo hub. It’s more modern, with a new border route under construction, reconstructed major intersections, new underpasses. It has more amenities — the WFCU Centre, the aquatic centre. It even looks different, beginning with its newly landscaped gateways.
But perhaps the most striking change is in the way we think. The Automotive Capital of Canada is becoming a progressive city.
The city that used to budget a pittance for bike paths and then never even spent it will finally finish the Windsor Loop, 42.5-kilometres of bike paths around our perimeter, Francis announced in a speech that stood out for its emphasis on building community. He’ll ask council for $3.5 million in the new year to not only complete the remaining 12.4 kilometres but add an extra 17.8 kilometres of bike lanes, paths and multi-use trails to connect other bike routes to the loop.
Francis also called for council to invest $5.8 million in our libraries, starting with moving the main library to the core. A library is one of the most important services a city can offer people. A “gathering place for learning,” Francis called it. It should be in the heart of the city.
Opening a new branch at Devonshire Mall is a stroke of genius, introducing the library to the crowds of people there every weekend. Just like the Art Gallery of Windsor, when it had a storefront in the mall, the library’s profile will suddenly jump.
The Budimir branch in South Windsor will be renovated and modernized at long last. This is a popular branch. If you want to snag the latest book here, you have to be fast and reserve it. That’s the way our libraries should be.
The tiny, cramped, South Walkerville branch will get a new home in an expanded Optimist Community Centre at Memorial Park, a busy place after school where more kids will be introduced to the library.
But the most interesting part of the plan is moving the Sandwich library into a newly restored historic Sandwich fire hall on Mill Street. The fire hall, built in 1921, and its attached stables, built in 1915, is a cool, heritage building. But it’s abandoned and crumbling.
The Olde Sandwich Towne Community Improvement Plan recommended finding a new use for it to capitalize on the history and character of the west side and help create an interesting and vibrant community. Old fire halls, which have been converted to offices, museums, restaurants, breweries and stores, create excitement, a city report stated last August. Their architecture is unique, from their hose towers to their brass poles. Old equipment could hang from the walls, making this a lot more than a library, making it an attraction.
A year ago, council considered using the property for a pay-and-display parking lot. That’s something the old Windsor would do. But this is the new Windsor, and this is a much cooler idea.
The WFCU Centre, the aquatic centre, the planned new museum and cultural hub, university and college campuses downtown, heritage buildings brought back to life, bike paths and now modernized libraries – “building up our community,” Francis called it.
Add to that the plans to replace the city’s 24,000 high-pressure sodium streetlights and their ugly yellow haze with bright, energy-efficient LED lights and to begin replacing loud, dirty diesel buses with quiet, clean electric buses, all the while saving on operating costs.
“Quality of life matters,” Francis said. Not just to us, but to others who are considering moving here or visiting. And to investors. Jobs follow people, the new thinking goes. And if that’s true, building our community is as important as offering tax breaks.
We have to ask ourselves, Francis said, not only what will Windsor look like in the future, but, “How will it be perceived?” It won’t be perceived as a lunch bucket town. Not any more. It will be seen as the progressive city that could.
Tags: Windsor, Windsor Economy News, Windsor Real estate
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December 4th, 2013
While it has long been speculated as to when construction on the border crossing will commence, project leaders are hopeful to start next year. The only thing on the U.S. side that is currently being waited on is the presidential permit while on the Canadian side there are issues with federal environmental approvals, cabinet approval, and government funding support. Optimism is high as The Continental Rail Gateway project should have everything in place to get underway with construction by the summer of 2014.
Backers of the $400-million Detroit River rail tunnel project said Monday they expect construction will start next year on the long-awaited border crossing.
Full environmental approvals were granted in the summer on the U.S. side with only a presidential permit required before construction can begin, said Marge Byington, corporate affairs director for the project.
“We are in good shape on the U.S. side,” she said. “We have all the permits except the presidential permit. We have spoken to the State Department (which oversees presidential permits). I don’t see us having a significant problem. We have not yet gone through the formal application process. It’s just a matter of timing.”
The proposed rail tunnel has been talked about for more than a decade and changed names several times. The rail tunnel group is currently known as Continental Rail Gateway.
The current Detroit River rail tunnel opened in 1910 and remains in good condition, but is too small for today’s double-stacked rail cars. CP currently pays a fee to CN Rail to use of its rail tunnel in Sarnia when its larger cars need to cross the border.
The new rail tunnel would use the existing corridor that leads to the current tunnel entrance south of Wyandotte Street West between Wellington Avenue and Cameron Avenue. The new tunnel would be built a few dozen metres to the west.
But several hurdles remain on the Canadian side, including federal environmental approvals, approval by cabinet in Ottawa and government funding support.
But construction will get going next year, said David Cree, CEO of the Windsor Port Authority, a partner in the project.
“We are close to having all the environmental (approvals) done on the Canadian side,” he said. “We are projecting to start in 2014. We should have all permits in place, certainly by next summer.
“We are meeting with federal officials and talking funding. I think they realize the importance of the project We are having productive discussions with them. There is no commitment at this point, but we are having good discussions with them.”
The current rail tunnel and Continental Rail Gateway project belong primarily to CP Railway and Borealis Transportation — a division under the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.
The partners, along with the port authority, have committed to paying $200 million toward the project. But construction will not start until the partners secure the remaining $200 million from government sources in Canada and the U.S.
The project recently received a $10 million commitment from the Michigan Department of Transportation, Byington said. Discussions have taken place with U.S. government officials which she believes will lead to more funds.
“From the indication I have received, they are supportive, she said. “The need for a double-stack tunnel has not diminished.”
Transport Canada confirmed Monday that government officials and rail tunnel backers have met to discuss funding.
The rail tunnel would require Canadian government approval under the International Bridges and Tunnels Act, said Mark Butler, spokesman for Transport Canada.
“To date, we have not received an application for approval under the International Bridges and Tunnels Act, nor has there been any formal request for funding,” Butler said.
Cree indicated a tunnel boring machine will be ordered next summer. He estimates the boring machine will take a year to build, with project construction to take about two years. That would put the opening for a new rail tunnel sometime in 2017, he said.
Project officials have estimated the rail tunnel project would create between 1,700 to 2,200 direct or indirect jobs during construction.
A CP Rail official Monday referred questions to directors of the rail tunnel project.
“They have the latest information,” said CP spokesman Ed Greenberg.
The new rail tunnel will modernize Windsor’s border infrastructure and should lead to more trade-related jobs in the region, Byington said.
“It’s a very exciting thing for Windsor and Detroit, but also Ontario and Michigan,” she said. “This area is the largest trading mega region. We have to really take the things we have — such as bridges, rail and airports — and really build on that. These infrastructure pieces need to be built.”
Tags: Windsor Economy News
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December 2nd, 2013
Another powerful wave of growth is about to wash through the automotive world, an annual workshop for Windsor’s tooling industry heard this week. Too bad most of it is outside Canada.
The world’s automakers are nearly all experiencing capacity issues, are short of skilled trades people, and facing a desperate need to build new assembly plants.
Euclide Cecchin and his son Dave Cecchin are the owners of the family buisness Omega Tool Corp. in Windsor and one of the top five tool companies in the country
But none of them are going to be in Canada; not a chance. Mexico saw $8 billion in assembly investment over the past 24 months and will also likely get the first Hyundai/Kia plant in North America, the annual Export Development Canada conference was told.
The silver lining for Canada is, Ontario’s $1-billion-plus share of the high-value machine tooling industry – nearly all of which is located in Windsor and Essex County – will remain strong through it all.
With dozens upon dozens of new vehicles in the development pipeline at all of the world’s major carmakers – GM alone is launching 11 all-new vehicles this year and 11 more next year – the world’s mould and die-making industry is currently riding a “high tide,” about 200 local tool shop owners and managers heard.
Craig Wiggins, a former EDC banker and consultant to the tooling industry who secures capital on both sides of the Windsor-Detroit border, predicts the wave will remain high through all of 2014 and early 2015 at a peak reaching $14 billion a year before falling into a bit of a trough of only $8 billion by 2016.
But even that low point will be clover for the region’s machine, tool, die and mould companies, Wiggins says, compared to the nuclear wasteland that followed the Detroit bankruptcies five years ago.
“We’re going to have a pretty good run,” he told MTDM executives at the Caboto Club.
This Christmas could be especially good for the Windsor-area companies because much of the tooling for two of the world’s most expensive vehicle launches, the GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe, was done here, and payments worth hundreds of millions could soon be rolling into local corporate coffers.
“So it could be a good Christmas here,” Wiggins said.
The MTDM industry produces the tools, dies and moulds that make nearly every one of the 3,000 parts on a modern vehicle. Fifteen hundred of those parts are things “that nobody ever sees, feels, touches or cares about,” says Laurie Harbour, president and founder of Michgan-based automotive consultants Harbour Results Inc.
Each tool costs from $5,000 for a simple small metal part die to $1 million or more for a front fascia mould for a plastic bumper cover. And some vehicles have as many as three or four different fascia for different trim levels.
Currently there are 42 vehicle launches working their way through the industry “like an elephant through a python,” Harbour says, employing about 75,000 people in eastern North America. She estimates the MTDM’s total sector employment at 187,500 when spinoff jobs are counted.
Tooling losses to China have mostly stopped because of rising wages there and shipping and service delays.
And the German Big Three have finally decided that North American toolers are good enough for them and have started sourcing work here. Hyundai/Kia remain the only OEM that doesn’t buy a single tool in North America. Yet.
The industry is an anomaly, Wiggins says: it’s the only continental industry completely dominated by Canada. Four of the top five top companies are in Ontario, and three of which are Windsor-based: Integrity, Concours, and Active Burgess. Counting Omega Tool and Husky of Bolton, Ont., five of the top 10 are Canadian.
Among the predictions the EDC conference heard this year:
- The agency’s economists believe the Canadian dollar, “which is basically a petro-currency now,” says EDC economist Hendrik Brakel, will remain relatively high at 96 cents in 2014, dropping to the US 94 cent range in following years. That’s if the Iran situation remains stable and the price of oil continues to drop;
- Nissan will shortly pass either Ford or Chrysler/Fiat for having more nameplates on the road. It currently has 18 and is heading for 20;
- Automakers used to redesign their vehicles every 6.3 years. Since the bankruptcy that’s dropped to every five years;
- Honda will soon be bringing more tooling to North America from Japan, and will be looking for local partners to make it;
- GM, which has 37 nameplates, now redesigns, refreshes or otherwise “touches” every one of them every three years, Wiggins says. Each touch means new tooling. There will be 42 “tooling events” worth tens of millions each in 2014;
- Despite having fewer brands and fewer nameplates since the bankruptcy, OEM spending on new tooling has risen 35 per cent due to the re-design speed-up;
- There are only 125 tooling companies of consequence in Canada, 625 in the U.S., and 100 in China. These are the ones large enough “to grow with the industry,” Harbour says.
- Sending tooling work to China now saves an OEM only 10 per cent, Harbour says, which is why outsourcing to there is drying up.
- “All the Germans and the Japanese know there is a capacity problem coming,” Harbour told the group.
Wiggins said most Canadian tool makers will not expand their floor space to grab more work during the continuing boom because they got burned during previous bust cycles. None want to over-extend to buy market share.
Tags: Windsor Economy News, Windsor ON, Windsor Real estate Market News
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November 25th, 2013
The makers of last year’s fifth-straight Windsor municipal budget freeze described their work as “astounding” and “fantastic” and unprecedented.
So what do you say about the city’s 2014 draft budget calling for a sixth year in a row of holding the line on taxes?
And Windsor is doing it without “slashing or burning” programs or services, or even by cutting city worker numbers, Mayor Eddie Francis said Friday.
The city’s 2014 draft budget goes before council for debate and final approval on Dec. 2.
City of Windsor City Treasurer Onorio Colucci, Mayor Eddie Francis and CAO Helga Reidel (left to right) comment on the latest city budget following its release at city hall in Windsor
The proposed 2014 net operating budget of $319 million is a half-million dollars above that of 2013, the difference made up in assessment growth, said city treasurer Onorio Colucci.
“The budget is a balanced and responsible budget,” said Francis. He said it includes double the historic level of spending on basic infrastructure and new amenities, as well as a continued whittling down of Windsor’s debt levels, which are now equal to what the city holds in reserves.
The mayor said it’s true the city is “investing in big-ticket items, but we’re also investing in basics.” About half the $95 million in proposed capital spending targets roads and sewers, he said.
Francis said he’s also still fine-tuning an enhanced capital budget plan for next year that he hopes to present to council Dec. 2 and which would be similar to, but smaller than, the $64.3 million enhanced infrastructure spend approved for 2013.
“If this was easy, everybody would be doing it,” said Francis, adding other cities are beating a trail to Windsor to find out how it’s been able, through tough times, to hold the line on spending in seven of the past nine years. He said London, Hamilton and an American city were among the most recent visitors.
Francis said the city is realizing savings from previous decisions, including the “consolidation of services” such as closing down aged east-side arenas in favour of the WFCU Centre and of smaller neighborhood pools near the downtown in favour of a new aquatic complex. There are ongoing savings from contracting out garbage collection and parking enforcement and from getting out of the daycare business.
“Nothing’s hidden — our budget is pretty open,” Francis said.
Chief administrative officer Helga Reidel said the latest contracts with city employees helped the budget makers and that savings were found in other areas, such as renegotiated winter control contracts and “new fee schedules” in some areas such as building and planning. The province is also continuing to upload some former municipal costs.
Francis said a plan is being developed to enable the new arbitrated contract gains by firefighters to be absorbed within the existing budget.
“We’ve been able to take our expenses and match them to our revenues,” said Francis. What that has also meant is “smaller government” — he estimates Windsor’s workforce has been reduced by about 170 employees over the past decade since council adopted a “pay-as-you-go” philosophy.
“We do much more work now than ever, with less people,” said Jim Wood, president of CUPE Local 82, representing the city’s unionized outside workers. Wood, who sat in on a Friday media briefing at city hall, said his union has been “working extremely well” with senior administration in finding new ways to save money while preserving jobs.
“I’d like to see the city hire more workers … hopefully, when things start changing and we attract new businesses … (we’ll) get more people working for the city,” said Wood. Unlike in recent city budgets, he said the proposed 2014 budget won’t cost his union any jobs.
“As a taxpayer and as a ratepayer, I’m happy,” Wood said of the city spending freeze.
And that’s a sentiment Ward 1 Coun. Drew Dilkens said is shared by his constituents. “Ask our seniors and people on fixed incomes. They’re a lot happier at zero than with an increase,” he said.
“Six years at zero, that’s practically unheard of in this day and age,” said Ward 8 Coun. Bill Marra. The big question, he added, is: “How long can we sustain this and not compromise service levels?”
As long as future mayors and councils maintain that discipline of matching spending to revenues, Francis said such “sustainable budgets” can continue, with tax freezes the norm.
“There’s not going to be a big jump in taxes to make up for the past six years,” he said. Three successive councils now have stuck with a philosophy of holding the line on taxes while at the same time reducing debt, increasing capital spending and transforming Windsor into an attractive and affordable city, he said.
Whereas Windsor was once among the highest-taxed in the province, Francis said the city is now in the “low-average” range in Ontario in most tax classes.
While city taxes may be holding their own, utility rates continue to climb, with Windsorites advised this week their water rates will climb four per cent in the new year.
But Francis said those who argue council is able to keep tax rates low by jacking up utility bills are wrong. “The part of the utilities that we have control over … we are holding the line,” he said.
The problem, he said, is with the larger portion of those bills covering the provincial side of utility costs. But the city gets the blame because “the bill goes out and it has our logo on it.”
The budget debate starts at 3 p.m. on Dec. 2, and a number of delegations are expected.
Marra, who chairs the Transit Windsor board, said they will include those lobbying the city for more funds to expand city bus service. Transit Windsor’s 2014 budget is unchanged from this year’s, even though its 2013 spending limit will be exceeded.
“I don’t think anyone is satisfied with the status quo,” said Marra, adding bus service levels have been mentioned by a number of citizens in the current round of ward meetings.
Tags: Tax Rates in Windsor, Windsor Economy News, Windsor Real estate
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November 20th, 2013
Extreme weather from intense rain to droughts is on the increase, say climatologists and insurance companies alike. Whether you believe it’s rooted in human-induced climate change or not, you need to protect your home from that weather.
Before learning how, a little background:
Water damage now outranks fire as the leader in home insurance claims, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. One reason: sewer lines back up into basements because municipal infrastructure can’t handle intense rainstorms.
“We only notice the aging infrastructure when it’s stressed,” says the bureau’s Pete Karageoros. And that’s occurring more frequently, he says. “Severe storms that used to happen once in 50 years are now happening once in 20.”
With modern basements boasting everything from home theatres to fitness rooms, damage can be serious.
The high winds typical of extreme weather also wreak havoc. They tear off shingles, overturn backyard structures, topple trees onto houses.
What’s more, in 2012 some Ottawa homeowners faced repair bills of up to $50,000 when a prolonged drought dried out the soil, causing the footings under house foundations to shift and basement walls to crack. Leda clay, common in Ottawa, is especially susceptible to this shrinkage, known as soil subsidence.
Michael O’Neill, general manager of Ottawa Structural Residential Services Ltd., says normal rainfall this year reduced soil subsidence. However, future droughts could see the problem return.
INSURED OR NOT
You may have insurance coverage for sewer backups (check your policy) but not for “overland” flooding. That’s the kind that occurs when water pours through basement windows from swollen watercourses as happened in Calgary with disastrous results this past summer. Insurance companies don’t provide overland flooding coverage in Canada, according to the IBC.
What’s more, increasing water damage claims from extreme weather and aging infrastructure are affecting the cost of providing home insurance, according to TD Insurance. The company is paying out an estimated $125 million on claims for evacuation as well as home and automobile damage from the Alberta and Toronto floods of 2013, according to the company. Damage from sewer backups was extensive in both floods. How much home insurance rates could increase remains to be seen.
Worth noting: Wind and hail damage is generally covered by home insurance but not damage from soil subsidence.
AVOIDING WATER DAMAGE
“It’s time for homeowners to smarten up and do due diligence,” says Blair Feltmate. He teaches in the University of Waterloo’s School of Environment, Enterprise and Development and chairs the Climate Change Adaptation Project (Canada), which explores strategies for adapting to climate change.
Diligence includes, for example, installing a backwater valve to prevent sewer backups through a basement drain. It can cost several thousand dollars as a retrofit, but that’s cheaper than the $15,000 to $20,000 that the climate change project says it typically costs to repair a flooded basement.
Raising valuable items, water heaters and mechanical systems off the basement floor will minimize flood damage.
Still in the basement, Steve Barkhouse, owner of Amsted Design-Build and its restoration subsidiary Restore-All, says waterabsorbing insulation should be no closer than one foot from the floor. As well, use moisture-resistant cement board rather than gyprock to cover walls.
Outside, keep eavestroughs and drains clear and use downpipe extensions to draw water away from the house. Check window and door caulking annually. Cover window wells.
Does the ground slope away from your home for drainage? With a new house, the backfill around the foundation can sink in the first few years, says John Herbert, executive director of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association.
Finally, limit or remove hard surfaces such as asphalt to allow soil absorption of excess rain.
OTHER PROACTIVE MOVES
To minimize wind damage, consider replacing your roof if it’s more than 15 years old, says Don Mann of Ottawa’s Sanderson Roofing. Modern fibreglass shingles are more wind-resistant than older organic paper ones.
Barkhouse blames poor construction for the increasing damage he’s noticing from extreme weather.
“When we get strong winds, we see siding and shingles all over the place because cheap materials were used.” He recommends good windows and says brick and stone stand up best to hail and wind.
If you are building a gazebo or open porch, use hurricane ties to secure the roof - the extra cost is minimal.
Spotted a home you’d like to buy? Barkhouse says to stand at the end of the street to see if the home is in a noticeable trough; if so, and depending on the neighbourhood, there’s the potential for flooding.
High winds and driving rain can damage garage doors, according to greenwerkspro. com. The website offers ideas to limit weather damage.
Finally, suggests reducing the risk of soil subsidence by watering your lawn in dry spells, especially if you have thirsty trees like red, silver and Manitoba maples or poplars. Pruning tree limbs reduces moisture demand.
Tags: Real estate Tips, Windsor Real estate
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November 12th, 2013
About 500 homes should be built in the town over the next couple of years, a dramatic increase over seven years of stagnant housing construction, town officials said Tuesday.
The town approved an extension of an existing Manning Road subdivision consisting of 19 new homes Tuesday night.
“It sounds like we’re open for business,” Mayor Gary Mc-Namara said. He was responding to criticism from housing developers who have put their properties up for sale because they said the town wasn’t open for business and was slow in extending sewers to unserviced land.
Coun. Joe Bachetti echoed the mayor’s remarks adding that the six subdivisions should add housing in all of the town’s wards. “There are a lot of people waiting for this,” he said.
Since 2006, there have been no more than 18 new homes constructed in the town in a year. According to the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation, 11 homes were built in Tecumseh between January and June. By comparison, 185 new homes went up in Lakeshore in 2012, while 182 were built in LaSalle.
Developer Tony Azar, who is unhappy there’s been years of delays in getting housing developments constructed, said he will believe the town is open for business once it issues the building permits for the 511 homes.
“I’ve heard this before,” he said. “I’m thrilled they are moving forward, but I’ll believe it when I see it.”
According to a town document, the six housing developments should begin construction over the next two years once site plans are approved by the town.
Of the six developments, two are being constructed on the former Lakewood Golf Course, three are off Manning Road and the last one is at the site of the former St. Anne’s high school.
Of the six developments, only one is currently building homes. Sumatara Investments is constructing 10 luxury homes on Christy Lane near Riverside Drive. The 19-home subdivision approved Tuesday probably won’t be constructed until mid-2014 after water and sewer pipes are installed on the land.
If negotiations with the City of Windsor and County of Essex get resolved, the Banwell Corridor, undeveloped land near Vista Academy elementary school, can begin development in two to three years, said Brian Hillman, director of planning and building services. Although he did say the exact date wasn’t known.
McNamara pointed out the steps the town is taking should provide the possibility for new housing development for the next 20 years. “If everything goes to plan,” he said, “In a perfect world … we should be growing for the next 10 to 20 years.”
Tags: Tecumseh Real estate, Tecumseh Real estate news, Windsor Real estate, Windsor Real estate Market News
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