Comment 86068

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted February 08, 2013 at 12:05:32 in reply to Comment 86033

This issue is not getting nearly as much attention as it deserves.

This is not about a handful of buildings.

The way council handles this case will set a path for the downtown which could result in years of stagnation.


Let's say Blanchard gets his wish - some or all of the buildings come down, he gets a property tax credit, and he starts trying to sell the parcel to a developer (or tries to acquire the rest of the block).

What message does that send to other landowners on the gore, and in downtown in general?

What will happen is that the speculators on other properties will hold on even tighter and hold out for even more money. They will see that the city will not put up a fight over demolition. They will stare longingly into the dream of a condo-building saviour to swoop in and make them rich.

This will essentially take all of the other properties on the gore off of the table for adaptive reuse and small scale development. It could also start a wave of more demolition permits as landowners clue in to the fact that the city can be held hostage over the destruction of heritage buildings.

The city needs to take a hard line on Blanchard, designate the properties (which voids the demolition permits), and force him to either come up with a better plan, or sell the land. This is fully within their power, and Blanchard was aware of this when he bought those buildings (if he wasn't aware, that is a lack of due diligence on his part and there's no reason to feel sorry for him). The rules are set - the city has the power. They just have to USE THE LAWS AS A NEGOTIATING TOOL instead of letting the speculators walk all over them. Their incompetence in negotiating is costing us money and potential tax income.

What is the worst case that would happen if the city did this? Blanchard leaves town? Not likely. Blanchard sells off his buildings? Who cares. Blanchard whines louder? Just stop listening. The city cannot lose by designating these properties.

Comment edited by seancb on 2013-02-08 12:08:47

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