De­lay comes at a cost

Waterloo Region Record - - EDITORIALS & COMMENT -

Re: Steel-and-glass condo could go on derelict site — Sept. 9

I am sad­dened to read that mem­bers of Kitch­ener’s her­itage com­mit­tee, upon see­ing a re­done pro­posal for 51 David St., seem dis­ap­pointed with the brick colour. Many may not re­mem­ber the orig­i­nal plans — 12 storeys and 80 units, nes­tled be­tween build­ings of eight, 14, and even more floors — but to­day I think of the con­se­quences of de­lay­ing and deny­ing multi-unit pro­pos­als. By cut­ting 50 per cent of the height and 62 per cent of the units, we have made this build­ing less of a fit in this neigh­bour­hood. Pre­vi­ous sto­ries re­ported on how some res­i­dents thought a 15-month de­lay in de­mol­ish­ing the derelict hous­ing that was on the site was too long, yet they’ve now de­layed this kneecapped pro­posal by 60 months at least, with dras­tic last­ing con­se­quences.

Stud­ies done by cities such as Seat­tle found that a month’s de­lay in­creased the cost of a unit by $2,000, while a 2015 study by Austin, Texas, found that it in­creased rent by 1.14 per cent. So in mak­ing this pro­posal less fit­ting for its neigh­bour­hood, less able to help peo­ple like my­self and oth­ers move out of lower-end hous­ing stock (a chain re­ac­tion that opens doors for those in our re­gion most in need of hous­ing op­tions), peo­ple are treated to con­dos cost­ing $120,000 more than be­fore, in­clud­ing in­fla­tion and mar­ket ap­pre­ci­a­tion, or rentals that are much pricier.

Andrew Dodds Kitch­ener

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