By Ryan McGreal
Published August 13, 2012
Urbancore Developments Inc has applied for a brownfield remediation grant [PDF link] for the property at 440 Victoria Avenue North on behalf of property owner DCR Holdings for a proposed new building that will offer 22 industrial units for lease that range in size from 0.7 acres to 1.5 acres.
The roughly L-shaped 24.56 acre property currently houses a 530,000 square foot industrial building and is nestled among an industrial rail line, warehouses, a metal recycling facility and nearby residential houses. While the building has a long history manufacturing Otis elevators WWI and WWII munitions, Studebaker automobiles and warehousing. DCR Holdings has owned the building since 2005.
The application, made through Hamilton's Environmental Remediation And Site Enhancement (ERASE) program, requests a grant of up to $650,000 in eligible demolition costs to demolish most of the existing building. Only the three-storey office at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Ferrie Street would remain.
After the building has been demolished, an environmental assessment will determine the need for soil remediation after nearly a century of industrial uses. Potential contaminants include heavy metals, inorganics, petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and base neutral acids.
The premise behind the ERASE grant system is that the increased property tax revenue from a remediated site pays for the remediation grant. At this point, the applicant does not yet know how much the property value will increase once the remediation and new construction are completed. However, staff estimate that the increase in the property's assessed value, while currently unknown, will more than offset the requested demolition grant.
At present, DCR Holdings pays $241,427.17 annually (2012 figure) on an assessed property value of $6,453,000. The property owner is up to date in property tax payments.