By Ryan McGreal
Published September 25, 2009
Councillor Bob Bratina (Ward 2) has submitted the following motion for the September 30 council meeting:
Whereas certain details regarding the relationship between Grand Connaught Inc. and the City of Hamilton have only recently emerged,
And Whereas the Grand Connaught proposal for Affordable Housing also includes a significant Market rent component not covered by Provincial or Federal grants,
Therefore be it resolved
That staff report back to Council with information regarding the extent to which the City of Hamilton may be asked to participate in the market rent portion of the Grand Connaught affordable housing proposal, and whether any impediments exist which may affect the City's ability to extend incentives such as interest free loans, tax-rebates, etc. and whether any such impediments would imperil the successful completion of the project.
Asked to provide more context for this motion, Councillor Bratina sent the following statement to RTH:
I believe, in view of the last-minute revelations and the situation regarding 80 King William, that Council should have clear understanding of the whole project, who is involved, to what extent, and how the market rent portion will possibly engage City initiatives, as and the motion reads, whether there might be any impediments.
If so, should that not be forwarded to the Province as part of Council's submission? This should also be reviewed with the developer as soon as possible to allow response or remedy before difficulties arise between the Province and the City as to whether the project could proceed.
A simple but potentially difficult question would be who holds the mortgage on the properties and what is its status? On Downtown loans the City takes a second position. To whom?
On this last point, Councillor Bratina may be referring to the recent bankruptcy of the numbered company redevloping the old Spectator building at King William St. and Catharine St., in which the city will likely lose $700,000 in residential loans even though a new developer has offered to buy the property and take over the redevelopment.
(h/t to Jason Leach for noticing this motion on the city's website.)
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