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Developers back city's downtown plan


Eight local developers have unified to back the city’s Strengthen the Core plan.

“Developers need to know the city has their back,” said Chris McLeod, Downtown BIA chair and head of the Affiliated Downtown Revitalization Group.

He told CTV News a developer is proposing a 140-unit condo building with three levels of underground parking on a vacant lot on Wyandotte Street between Victoria Avenue and Pelissier Street, but the decision to move forward with the project may hinge on council’s support of a $3.2 million plan meant to revive the city centre.

“You're looking at $420,000 a year in tax revenue that they're saying isn't going to happen if this doesn't go through on Monday,” said McLeod.

The Strengthen the Core plan has now received the support of local developers, including the Fortis Group.

“Ultimately, we all realize that it's time for us as developers and business owners to help contribute to that change,” said Max DeAngelis, president of the company who feels there will be opportunities both on the commercial and residential side should the plan be approved and would consider developing in the downtown core.

“Definitely, we're always looking for development opportunities and I think no better place once we collectively get to that point when we collectively get to that point where we have a vibrant and safe downtown core,” he said.

The proposed seven-part strategy aims to improve the image of downtown Windsor, helping businesses, customers, and residents feel safe and connecting people to appropriate supports where and when needed.

“Allowing for the status quo to persist without taking any steps to deal with the serious issues and perhaps the most important social crisis that's affecting our community and specifically our downtown, the option to do nothing is not on the table for me,” said Ward 9 Coun. Kieran McKenzie.

Expanding Project Safe Streets with more cameras is part of the plan. So is adding a crime analyst, a community liaison officer, and 12 new Windsor police officers.

Council has a big decision to make.

“Once you hire 12 officers, you can’t fire them,” noted Ward 7 Coun. Angelo Marignani. “This is something that is going to be part of our operational budget moving forward. A healthy core is a healthy city but we have to make sure we're spending our money prudently and effectively.”

Ward 4 Coun. Mark McKenzie is still on the fence.

“There's going to be a lot of questions Monday, especially with the police chief,” McKenzie said. “A lot of my BIAs are concerned that some of the issues we're seeing downtown may end up spreading to those BIAs, Erie Street, Ottawa Street, Walkerville.”

The plan will be discussed and voted at Monday’s council meeting. Top Stories

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