The 152 Shanley Saga (fall, 2017)

As most residents are aware, the city of Kitchener’s attempt in April of 2017 to sell 152 Shanley has failed. I wish this failure was a surprise but given the constraints placed on the sale by municipal and provincial regulations, and the city’s particular method of promoting the property, failure seemed inevitable.

As documented in The Record here the minimum bid for the property was just over one million dollars which is the total amount owning in back taxes and various By-Law infraction charges (for the past several years the city has been trimming the trees and bushes and generally maintaining the property because the owner refuses to perform those tasks).

As the Record article above states, tax sales are “very tightly regulated under the Municipal Act and a municipality isn’t able to accept any bids that don’t cover the costs of all taxes owed on the property, as well as the costs of running the tax sale.” The sale had only one bid for $200,000 which was rejected.

If the city were allowed to accept that bid, and the new owner cleaned up the land and build a condo unit that, eventually, generated taxes we would all be better off in the long run. But that is not the case and of course we do not know how feasible the lone bidder’s development plan was for the site.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Once the initial tax sale fails, the city has an option to hold a second sale where the property can be sold for less than the taxes and fees owning. But this process is not automatic and requires city staff to organize it. Our councillor, Sarah Marsh, has stated she is pushing this option at committee meetings but even if it does go ahead, it will take some time. For example, this article

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/6227791-kitchener-to-put-contaminated-factory-site-up-for-sale/

in January 2016 describes the “upcoming” tax sale that did not happen until over one year later (April 2017). And that is with everyone at the city on board!

MHBPNA contacted the city towards the end of 2016 and again in 2017 to get an explanation for the delay. The response was that interest had been shown in the property and the city wanted to give those potential bidders more time to develop their proposals.

The key to a second sale is to find a bidder with a solid plan and the finances to manage both the cleanup of the contamination and the site’s development which will take years. The environmental issues are regulated at the Provincial level (Ministry of the Environment) and the developer must first have a cleanup plan approved before any work can be done.

So if everything goes smoothly at city hall, it will probably be at least two years before we see another sale. And if that was successful, it would be another couple of years minimum before the cleanup and development plans were approved and the site remediation begun. We don’t know how long the cleanup would take, or how it would be integrated with the construction but I estimate at least a couple of years for that phase. So if everything snapped into place (which has not happened for the past 30+ years) an actual building might be erected by 2022 at the earliest!

Since Blog articles should be short I will end here. But I’m writing a second article that backgrounds several of the “issues” involved in selling the property. Stay tuned!

Ted Parkinson

Welcome to the new home of the MHBPNA Blog!

We have just moved our Blog from mhbpna.blogspot.ca to our mhbpna.org domain. With everything on one page it should be easier to view our articles, read about events in our community and generally communicate with our neighbours.

We still have our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mhbpna/) which we use for small notices and as notification for articles published on this Blog.

This is also a history of our neighbourhood and has articles all the way back to 2008.

Please contact us at mhbpna@gmail.com if you have any questions.

 

Waterloo Regional Police Survey

The Waterloo Region Police are asking citizens to fill out a survey to help them develop their 2018 – 2020 business plan. They would like to set goals for the next three years and beyond. You can help them by filling out the survey here.

This is the full link in case the one above did not work (you can copy and paste):

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CommunitySurvey2020 

Sand Cleaning



There is a wonderful word called “infrastructure”. 

It can be as big a deal as a Light Rapid Transit system, or as small as the city of Kitchener cleaning the sand in its playgrounds to make it safer for children to play. These photos were captured at the Duke St. Playground. (click to enlarge)

City of Kitchener puts out tender for Art at Weber and Guelph!

The City of Kitchener sent us this information so we are posting it for everyone to read:

 

City of Kitchener Request for Proposal:  Art in the Public Realm – Weber Street and Guelph Street (closes July 7, 2017)
The City of Kitchener invites professional design firms/artists to submit a proposal for a two-stage competition to design and produce a site-specific public art piece for installation near the corner of Weber Street West and Guelph Street in Kitchener, Ontario. The successful proponent will design and fabricate a piece that reflects the evolution of Kitchener’s economy, including, but not limited to, Kitchener’s industrial and manufacturing history and emerging technology and IT sectors. Kitchener’s progression towards becoming a more sustainable and environmentally conscious community should also be incorporated into the design.
The Request for Proposal documents (bid number P17-037) can be found on the City of Kitchener website at: https://kitchener.bidsandtenders.ca/Module/Tenders/en/Tender/Detail/8b9b1a37-4aa9-46b1-9c2a-b7bf4d0b1a1d

Anyone can view the documents for free, but please note that interested bidders will need to be registered on the City’s system, which includes a registration fee. Questions and clarification regarding this Request for Proposal will be accepted up until June 23, 2017 through the link above. The deadline for submissions is no later than 1:00 p.m. on Friday, July 7, 2017.

Development Meeting for June 27

Here is information about a public presentation regarding future development in what is currently the King’s Crossing plaza at Wellington and King. If you are interested, come out on June 27 at the Tannery. Yet more change to the Mt Hope side of MHBP!

click on image below for full size poster.

MHBPNA Garage Sale 2017 Update!

We hope everyone had a great time at the Garage Sale last weekend. I talked with a couple of people who said they made $200 and I spent over $50 which was way more than I thought I would. But the bargains kept on coming!

MHBPNA occupies a large area so not everyone received the volume of customers they may have expected but I rode my bike around and met many bargain hunters with their purchases.

For the record, I’m not a “Garage sale kind of guy” because we already have too much stuff in the house. However, I thought I’d share some of the great deals we uncovered that were too good to walk away from.

The wine glass was only 25 cents. There were two but I just bought one because it is always nice to have a spare in case one breaks. My wife loved it so much, we went back for its twin.

Here is a great plant stand. The person selling it asked the outrageous price of $5! But we talked him down to $2 (it was the end of the sale and he was packing up….this always helps)



These two awesome paintings were free because the people had put them out on the curb with the rest of their “unsold” bounty. They work really well in our newly renovated basement!



This artist’s model was only $5 and can placed in a variety of poses.


Finally, the most expensive item was this Casio keyboard for $20! It has drums, arpeggio accompaniment patterns and a variety of sounds. Tons of fun for the price.


We hope you had fun with the sale. MHBPNA organized it and created the Google Map and form because many people asked us. We can do it again next year, or the year after depending on demand. 

Ted Parkinson
MHBPNA