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#1 2010-02-11 11:47:00

Green
Member
Registered: 2008-10-28
Posts: 92

Next Steps for Cooper Site

They are hoping construction will start in 2010?!?! Why would it not be starting come April?

Article in the Beacon today:


With the former Cooper site now in its hands, the locks to the old CNR repair shops changed and the property more secure, the city can start looking ahead to development of the derelict industrial site.

The first project is most likely the Stratford Institute, a threestorey, 45,000-square-foot building plus 68 parking spaces located on 1.3 acres of land in what is currently the St. Patrick Street parking lot.

“ We’re hoping that we’ll see them start in 2010,” Stratford CAO Ron Shaw said Wednesday, the day after the city took possession of the expropriated land from Lawrence Ryan and 1353837 Ontario Inc. for a $4.5million interim payment plus another $ 210,000 in legal and relocation costs.

On Feb. 22, in what’s expected to be a formality, city council will declare the 1.3 acres surplus to Stratford’s needs and begin the process of handing over the land to the University of Waterloo.

It would be the first of four parcels of land the city would give to the university to fulfil an agreement to provide land for the UW Stratford campus. Blocks 1-4 shown in the accompanying aerial photo and drawing ( on page 3) add up to 7.55 acres.
“We’ve left them lots of room for growth in the future,” Mr. Shaw said.

The aerial photo and drawing prepared by the London architectural and engineering firm Spriet Associates is part of a development concept plan generated by city staff.

The plan has been given to council members, but council won’t be considering the plan until after a public meeting/open house on the future of the property is held. There is no date yet for that meeting.

The plan raises interesting possibilities for two Stratford institutions.

Block 4 currently holds the Stratford Family YMCA facility. The plan shows the Y moved from its current location at the corner of St. Patrick and Downie streets to a new location at the far southeast corner of the Cooper property near St. David Street.
“When I consider the possibility of the library moving out of this building, I don’t hold much concern about this building because I’m sure that the city will treat it with the respect that it deserves,” he said. “It will still look beautiful if it’s being used for some other function.”

Also on the heritage front, what to do with the building that housed the former CNR steam locomotive repair shops is one of the subjects that will be brought up at the public meeting.

The plan shows parking on the building’s footprint. The idea was to knock down the structure and use its foundation for parking, Mr. Shaw said.
However, heritage advocates and architects are lobbying to incorporate the historic site into the university plan.

“I think council wants to take a very close look at these issues before they make a decision,” Mr. Shaw said.

There is no price tag attached to the plan in terms of development costs, he said. “We’re sort of peeling this onion one layer at a time … The first thing we want to do is have an idea of what it’s going to be and then we’ll start costing it out.”

The property’s former owner issued a statement yesterday that said his numbered company will now focus on advancing its expropriation and other claims against the city as quickly as possible.

“Today is a major step forward for 135’s expropriation claim. We would have liked to be at this point in April last year, when we first asked the City to make an interim offer in line with what was paid today. All the time and expense wasted since then has been a result of shortsighted decisions at City Hall,” Mr. Ryan said.

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#2 2010-02-11 21:42:14

bulldog
Member
Registered: 2008-03-05
Posts: 665

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

i am not sure which is more exciting......

press releases from lawrence ryan or six months of testimony of an OMB hearing on a zoning change of a walmart surrounded by malls..........................................................

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#3 2010-02-11 22:12:50

rankinfile
Moderator
Registered: 2007-12-28
Posts: 843

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

Green wrote:

They are hoping construction will start in 2010?!?! Why would it not be starting come April?

Article in the Beacon today:

.....

The property’s former owner issued a statement yesterday that said his numbered company will now focus on advancing its expropriation and other claims against the city as quickly as possible.

“Today is a major step forward for 135’s expropriation claim. We would have liked to be at this point in April last year, when we first asked the City to make an interim offer in line with what was paid today. All the time and expense wasted since then has been a result of shortsighted decisions at City Hall,” Mr. Ryan said.

Ah, yes......the games continue into the third round.  Now that he has a bit of money, he might be able to afford a real lawyer-----OMB, here we commmmme........

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#4 2010-02-12 10:50:56

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

In looking at the site plan in the paper yesterday it would seem to me that the obvious missing piece to this was anything set aside to accomodate private enterprise. For instance, look at the tech center area at UW that is located just north of Columbia and the main university campus in Waterloo. It has become a hub for tech companies looking to set up and yet be close to the campus. Open Text, the Accelrator Centre, RIM and a few other names are all housed there. In fact there are now over 400 tech companies now operating in  K/W with most in reasonable proximity to the University.

This site plan ignores that potential.

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#5 2010-02-12 11:26:35

Green
Member
Registered: 2008-10-28
Posts: 92

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

The site plan, calls for 7.55 acres to the University, however Phases 2 - 4 dont' indicate what the Uni would use it for, perhaps this is to accomodate private enterprise/uni collobarations.  Also, their would still be 10 acres left as parking that could be used for such purposes.

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#6 2010-02-12 11:29:27

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

Considering the rather single minded obsession this City has with parking....I would bet it would stay as parking

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#7 2010-02-12 11:34:44

Printer
Member
Registered: 2008-03-05
Posts: 144

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

The city is expanding and installing upgraded services to it's industrial land in the south end of the city. I think their intension is to have some of this area ready for the spin-off businesses that are being hoped for once the university is up and running.

Although not within stone throwing distance of the actual university, the south end lands are not really that far away.

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#8 2010-02-12 14:21:51

rankinfile
Moderator
Registered: 2007-12-28
Posts: 843

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

Printer wrote:

The city is expanding and installing upgraded services to it's industrial land in the south end of the city. I think their intension is to have some of this area ready for the spin-off businesses that are being hoped for once the university is up and running.

Although not within stone throwing distance of the actual university, the south end lands are not really that far away.

In keeping with recently debated "planning" arguments---should not any new development be built in the WEST end of the City.  After all, this is where a whole bunch  of new residential development is occurring, both south off O'Loane, and also to the north off O'Loane.  Housing is needed for new employees of new businesses---and close proximity to housing is both good for the economy as well as the environment.

What is good for Big Blue should also be good for the U of W, as will as new employers.

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#9 2010-02-12 14:39:08

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

rankinfile wrote:

What is good for Big Blue should also be good for the U of W, as will as new employers.

Big Blue???.....you mean IBM is coming here as well??

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#10 2010-02-12 14:52:51

Green
Member
Registered: 2008-10-28
Posts: 92

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

when is the construction on phase 1 going to start?

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#11 2010-02-12 15:37:36

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

Green wrote:

when is the construction on phase 1 going to start?

They said spring/summer 2010

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#12 2010-02-13 11:30:18

spankie
Member
Registered: 2008-01-01
Posts: 1350

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

Same arguement for why Walmart wants the East end. Why would factories want to build in the west end when all the other factories are in the south end of the city. Like usually stays with like. But not with our good "old" OPA. Old being the operative word.

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#13 2010-02-21 17:10:59

SeanRaleighSalesRepRLHR
Member
From: Stratford
Registered: 2010-01-02
Posts: 19
Website

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

Working out at the Y on Friday I noticed that Ryan's signage is all gone (save for a "Viewing Lane" sign, and two surveyors were taking angles in the parking lot.  Whatever is going to happen in the short terms seems to have started!  It'll make  working out slightly more interesting to see things progress!

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#14 2010-02-22 14:00:44

Green
Member
Registered: 2008-10-28
Posts: 92

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

The Y seem to be onboard with what is required for them to move the construction forward. 

I think March 10th is the next mtg to discuss the uni campus.

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#15 2010-02-22 14:15:11

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Next Steps for Cooper Site

It sort of is ironic....this might make the old Empire worth something now. All the years it has sat there fully renovated and empty....

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