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St. Catharines Standard: Port Dalhousie Redevelopment
Doug Herod | December 14, 2017

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City asked to save developers from themselves

http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2017/12/13/herod-city-asked-to-save-developers-from-themselves

From Issue No. 264 | December 17, 2017

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A St. Catharines city council meeting is held at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre for discussion of the Port Dalhousie tower project on Tuesday. (Julie Jocsak/Standard Staff)

A St. Catharines city council meeting is held at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre for discussion of the Port Dalhousie tower project on Tuesday. (Julie Jocsak/Standard Staff)

 

OK, about Grandson of Port Tower …

Relax, this latest analysis of St. Catharines’ longest running drama will be relatively free of planning jargon and heritage minutiae.

Rather, philosophical questions raised at Tuesday night’s public meeting will be addressed.

First, though, the requisite background.

Way back in 2004 when the original tower was first proposed, the developers knew, or at least suspected, it would not pass muster with the municipal powers-that-be if it was presented as simply a large residential condo project.

Thus, the inclusion of a boutique hotel and 415-seat performing arts theatre along with assorted commercial/retail units in an attempt to elevate the development to economic-revitalizer status.

When city planners didn’t quite buy the original tower as such a catalyst, the developers went back to the drawing board, lowered the height, tweaked some elements and, once again, chatted up the potential of the hotel and theatre to transform Port Dalhousie into a regional tourist attraction.

Planning staff liked what they saw and threw its support behind Son of Port Tower, largely because of their belief the project could help economically revive Port’s commercial core.

City planners did not believe the condo itself would bring economic sustainability to Port. That’s why they recommended the condo not be allowed to open until all the other project elements — hotel, theatre, retail/commercial — were completed. Presumably, this stipulation was made to guard against the developer building the condo first and forgetting about everything else for the foreseeable future.....

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