By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
After tying up a few loose legal ends with the city, ground has been broken at 100 Bond St. E, the future home of a 12-storey apartment building.
The site has been fenced off, the grass torn up and construction machinery and a trailer are now visible at the site across from the regional courthouse.
“They’re starting to create an area for their construction workers to work off of and that type of thing and then starting to scrape the ground, and hopefully dig a hole soon,” says Paul Ralph, the city’s commissioner of development services.
Ralph says the city is pleased with seeing movement on a project that will be a big benefit to the city and downtown.
The site, previously owned by the city, is being developed by Atria Developments, who picked up the parcel of land in 2011 for a little more than $2.2 million.
The first phase of the project will see a 12-storey apartment building consisting of 239 units. There will also be units with commercial uses on the approximately 13,000-square-foot ground floor.
Once completed, the building is estimated to create 421 jobs and $151 million in economic benefit for Oshawa. As well, the project’s construction could bring $75 million to the local economy.
The developers were welcomed with open arms into the city, with several incentives being laid out by council.
Being located within the BIA casement area, the development is exempt from development charges. Along with that, council approved a tax rate incentive package last year that will see portions of the property’s taxes returned to them over the next 10 years.
The grant package shakes down to approximately half of the property’s taxes being returned to them over the next 10 years, a value of approximately $1.67 million.
The tax refunds will be implemented over the next 10 years in deescalating amounts, with 91 per cent the first year, 82 per cent the second year and 73 per cent the third year before the final year, which will be nine per cent.
The city will collect $1.67 million in property taxes during the 10-year period.
Also approved for the project was a $100,000 building permit fee grant.
The developer will purchase the approximately $210,000 building permit in the near future, then have $100,000 returned to them.
All incentives only apply to the first phase of the project, which is slated for completion by the end of April 2017.
Request for comment from Atria were not returned as of The Oshawa Express’ press deadline.