Comment 35616

By Barney Google (anonymous) | Posted November 20, 2009 at 11:29:04

To ignore residents to the south, east and west of the Tiffany location , communities stadium visitors will have to walk and/or drive through to get to the stadium, is to be deliberately opaque. The Tiffany site is a brownfield now, but would be completely given over to the stadium, butting up against those residential communities. Likewise commercial strips are on the edges of the residential communities, with residents between them and the proposed stadium. Bear in mind we should be thinking beyond the Pan Am 15,000, or even the TiCat 25-30,000 to a not-so-distant future when the city and region has grown even more, and a stadium that might serve as a regional entertainment centre. Multi-use does not mean high-school football. It means trade shows, conventions, rock concerts, monster truck smash 'em ups, etc., and possibly international soccer, bigger audiences on many more occasions, taxing the endurance of nearby residents. Thinking "out of the box" means thinking ahead.

Further, on it's way downtown the GO line does pass through a trench between the Fortino's plaza and the cricket pitch next to the highway, which is property now owned by the city. There is no station there, but there should be, and would be with a major entertainment complex built above it. This is a line that in future (thinking "out of the box" again) could be extended down the highway to points west, like Ancaster, the airport and Brantford, already major sources for commuters heading toward TO.

The property the city owns sits atop one of those big storm-water sewage storage tanks recently built by the city, likely posing an engineering challenge to constructing a stadium on top. Is the city not up for such a challenge? Have we not the talent, the skill? It's probable that construction overflow from the stadium would only require air-rights over the existing plaza. But the commercial potential from developing this site would more likely result in a partnership with current property owners. However, even if the city had to buy the location at greater expense than it will cost to buy and remediate the Tiffany brownfield there is much greater potential for return both in direct income from leasing space and in increased tax revenue from nearby commercial properties. Naming rights alone would be worth tens of millions at such a visible, high-profile location (and probably less than ten million in the Tiffany community.) A Dundurn Street location could serve a regional market. After Pan Am, Tiffany will only ever serve a dwindling local market.

Sometimes if you want to build the local community you have to spend the money to do it right. Dundurn is so obviously the right location you have to wonder why it was never on the list of locations. Back when the short list was introduced, The Spec said anywhere around Frid Street was deemed "too complex" with no further comment. What does "too complex" mean? That city administrators can't make it happen? That locals aren't up to the challenges? I don't want to speculate about conspiracies, but why are the only locations considered either downtown or at the city's edge next to highways when we can have the best of both locations, transit access adjacent to the downtown, at Dundurn Street?

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