By Joel WittnebelThe Oshawa Express
The latest rejuvenation effort at the Genosha Hotel continues to slog forward to obtaining the proper permits to get on with the heavy lifting, which may finally usher the aging structure back to its prime.
Richard Summers, the newest owner of the former hotel after purchasing it from Richard Senechal in August, continues to meet with city staff and do what he can inside the building to prep it for eventual construction.
Summers previously attempted a renovation project on the hotel in 2009, and he now hopes for a successful conclusion alongside partner TT7 Inc.
“Since we closed the property in August…we have been working on revising the drawings to 86 luxury apartments with the architect for permit submission,” Summers tells The Oshawa Express in an emailed statement. “We are working on regional incentives. We are also working on getting the site set up for when we acquire our permit, hopefully in the near future.”
According to Paul Ralph, the city’s commissioner of development services, city staff, Summers and regional finance have a meeting set for this week in which to discuss any regional financial assistance towards the rejuvenation effort.
City staff have also recommended to council that the incentive package approved for the previous development effort be reapplied to the new project.
The project’s previous plan received strong support from Oshawa city council, who granted a series of development incentives, including nearly $700,000 in tax breaks over the next 10 years and a $750,000 facade improvement grant.
However, in order to approve the change, council would need to make a technical alteration in the application, amending the number of units to the current 86 proposed by Summers.
Under the previous plan, the Genosha would have been repurposed into 66 apartments – 40 one bedrooms and 26 bachelor units in the top five floors – with the ground floor reserved for commercial tenants. An estimate for the renovations previously pegged the cost at around $8.5 million.
The change to the conditions appeared before councillors during the development services committee on Monday (Oct. 2) and will go to council for final approval during its regular meeting on Oct. 16.
Along with the other work completed in the interim, Summers explains that the Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation (OPUC) have removed the old transformer systems from the building’s basement and that Enbridge has brought new gas lines to the property. As well, work is currently underway with a local elevator company.