The developer’s perspective.
I just wanted to send you a brief message regarding our re-zoning application on 55 Delhi and in particular to one of the issues that will be raised Monday night. As I don’t like surprises myself, I thought I’d give you a heads up before the meeting as you may or may not be aware of some of the history surrounding our application.
In particular, I wanted to let you know that when we bought this building earlier this year, we were told by the representatives of Family and Child Services that they had an agreement with the City over the past 30 plus years to use the approximately 18 parking spots in the smaller parking lot directly behind the building. This parking area is outlined in red in the picture below. As you can see from the same picture, there is a larger parking lot directly behind this one that is separate and distinct from this smaller parking lot. It appears that the larger parking lot was historical used by the Community Centre at 65 Delhi and the smaller parking lot for 55 Delhi although I do not know this for sure.
At the time of our purchase, we contacted Staff regarding renewing the previous parking agreement and were told this would not occur. The reason given was that this parking lot would be sold off in the near future.
Hearing this we immediately expressed our interest in purchasing this parking lot but were told that that too would not be considered at that time. The reason given was that it might negatively affect the sales prospects of the Community Centre at 65 Delhi.
Our response to Staff was that, if necessary, we would consider purchasing the Community Centre at 65 Delhi as well and restore it similar to our plans for 55 Delhi. Again we were told that the City would not consider this at that time.
As a result of these decisions (i.e. not being able to renew the previous agreement nor being able to purchase the small parking lot), both of which respectfully accept, we felt that we had no other option but to look at other possibilities including some of those raised by the neighbours. However, each one had a number of serious drawbacks.
Parking Solution Reason for Rejection
Underground Parking – Lot size is not large enough for the required ramps and underground turning areas
– It would be prohibitively expensive due to the location of the bedrock and not justified for a development of this small scale
Demolition of the Rear Building – While the width of the lot is similar to the front, the depth at the rear is much narrower meaning we would not be able to put in a double row and meet city design guidelines. As a result we would have at most 6-8 parking spots which is far short of the minimum required 18 parking spots
– The revenue loss from the loss of this building makes the business case that much more difficult to justify as the cost of restoration is already expected to total around $2.5 million and similar buildings of this nature and size sell for about $1.5 million.
Side Parking – The property line is within 3 feet on the north and east side of the building thus not allowing parking there. While the depth is a little more on the west side, it would only permit parallel parking which would mean at most 3-4 spots, far short of the required minimum
No parking – We don’t feel the council would or should approve such a proposal nor do we feel it would make economic sense as no parking makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to rent the building
As a result, by process of elimination, we felt we had no other option but to apply to put the parking in the front of the building, which in our minds is the second-best solution (first best being to either renew the previous parking agreement or purchase the small parking lot behind the building).
Since our application, we have received the City’s Request of Expression of Interest for the Re-Use/Re-Development of 65 Delhi, which we intend to complete and submit by the deadline of October 30th . This Request for Expression of Interest seems to indicate that the City is looking for guidelines on how to sell the property and for which use at 65 Delhi, including the small parking lot behind the building at 55 Delhi.
As a result of this, I would respectfully like to inquire if the possibility may exist to purchase this small parking lot separate from the Community Centre at 65 Delhi. If it does, we would be willing to purchase this small parking lot at fair market value as determined by an independent AACI certified appraisor.
I could see this as being a win-win solution for everyone as:
– It would appease the neighbourhood group opposed to parking on the front area
– It would provide us with sufficient parking to permit the restoration of a stunning historical building and
– I don’t believe that it would negatively affect any future sale of 65 Delhi as 65 Delhi would still be left with approximately 55 current parking spots and space for many more
Should this indeed be possible and should we succeed in obtaining this small parking lot, we would abandon our request for parking in the front of the building.
Finally, please note that this is my first rezoning application to the City and therefore I do not pretend to know or understand all the issues and concerns you may face as council members regarding this, nor necessarily understand the process you need to go through. I simply wanted to let you know the some of the history so that there are no surprises on Monday night and let you know the thought processes behind our application. In addition, I wanted to let you know that if the possibility exists to purchase that small parking lot and have a solution could be a win-win for everyone, we would certainly be happy to do so. However this is your decision, not mine and I will respectfully accept whatever decision or position you may have or take on this. RE