Comment 33454

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 14, 2009 at 12:45:08

ror, I think you are missing the main point on which most people are fighting this development. It's not necessarily due to an aversino to mixed use or subsidized housing. It is largely a matter of the PHYSICAL building. Here we have a beautiful building, designed as a hotel and used for a hotel for its entire life. WHy would we chop that up into residential units, subsidized or not? Would we take a cinder block warehouse with no windows and do the same? How about a glass and steel tower which has all of the systems in place to be an office building?

Mixed use and subsidized units are fantastic - but they should be placed in buildings that physically suit that use.

My letter:

Mayor and Council,

I know you are busy so I will keep this short. As an active citizen who cares deeply for our entire city, I am strongly against the proposal on the table for the Connaught building.

Please pay no attention to the smoke-and-mirrors discussion of housing needs. The question is not "do we need more subsidized housing?" Instead, we should be asking "Is subsidized housing the right choice for the Connaught?" We all know that the answer to that question is an emphatic "No." I would in fact argue that ANY housing project is inappropriate for the Connaught. I completely agree that we need more people living downtown, but this needs to take place in buildings suited to residential development, not in premium hotel space.

Additionally, I think it is wholly inappropriate for the consortium to be requesting that 2/3 of the project cost be subsidized by the governement. If they cannot come up with a profitable business model, they should sell the hotel to someone who can. Please send a message to the developers that the city will not bear the weight of their poor investment choices any longer.

Thanks for your time

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