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City seeks assistance in developing vacant lands

The City of Oshawa is seeking $580,000 in assistance from Durham Region for the development of 80 Bond Street East. (Photo by Chris Jones)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

The city of Oshawa has asked Durham regional council for $580,000 in assistance for a downtown development.

The city is seeking the funding under the Regional Revitalization Program (RRP).

The lot in question is 80 Bond St. East in the cities downtown, only a couple of blocks away from the Tribute Communities Centre.

Despite this prime location, the space currently sits as a vacant lot.

The City of Oshawa has asked Durham regional council for assistance in the development of the land. The city is seeking $580,000 under the Regional Revitalization Program (RRP).

The RRP is meant to assist municipalities in Durham Region with not only making them more accessible, but also helping the municipalities to feel much more approachable.

“The RRP targets new projects within Community Improvement Plan (CIP) areas as recommended by area municipalities,” a staff report reads. “The RRP focuses on initiatives that advance the goals of the Regional Official Plan as a basis for achieving positive economic and community objectives.”

The ultimate goal of the program is to not only improve Durham Region economically, but also to help maintain and improve the communities that might need assistance.

In order to receive the funding, Oshawa needs to meet certain conditions.

A full building permit needs to be issued to Bond and Mary Development Inc. (BMDI), the developer of the property.

They must also secure a framing inspection and occupancy permit from the municipal building inspection authority.

BMDI must also pay for all applicable regional development charges due at the building permit issuance, as well as all costs associated with works for the development of the lands.

Lastly, the company must satisfy all performance criteria outlined in the agreement with Oshawa in regard to incentives that are provided under the city’s Central Business District Renaissance Community Improvement Area, as well as other applicable by-laws.

Oshawa must also enter into an agreement with the region that will outline the terms and conditions for the financial assistance provided by the region in order to ensure accountability.

Finally, Oshawa must agree to annual post-project reviews and audits for five years after substantial occupancy of the development of vacant lands. This will be done in order to ensure accountability as well as to be sure that the resources provided by the region are being utilized effectively.

According to the report, BMDI is hoping to build an eighteen-storey high-rise building. It will contain 370 residential apartment units, as well as approximately 5,000 square feet of ground floor commercial uses.

Regional council will make its final vote on Oshawa’s request at the Sept. 15 meeting.