Whitehorse Daily Star

Incentive pact proposed for downtown property

A local developer

By Stephanie Waddell on May 18, 2017

A local developer is closer to confirming it will indeed receive a grant back from the property taxes it pays should it go ahead with the 10-unit rental project it has planned at 305 Hawkins St.

Zoning amendments were approved last fall for the development planned by 360 Design Build of the four-storey structure that’s planned to feature a total of 10 units that would each be 350 to 411 square feet with the apartments above commercial space on the main floor of the building.

A rooftop patio is also planned for the building.

To be eligible for the incentive, the units must be kept affordable, with 360 proposing a rent of $795 per month for each unit.

Along with the development incentive it’s anticipated to receive from the city, 360 Design Build was also approved for $500,000 from the territory to build the project.

Mike Ellis, the city’s acting manager of planning and sustainability, told council Monday night the policy for development incentives offered by the city is aimed at encouraging specific types of development in the city, such as rental housing.

“Under this policy, developments that meet the specified criteria are eligible for a yearly monetary grant from the city,” Ellis noted.

“The value of the grant would be based on the increase in taxation rate due to improvements on the property.”

In this case, if the proposed building goes ahead as planned, 360 Design Build could be granted back up to $500,000 over 10 years.

The developer pays its property taxes in full and is then granted back part of the taxes based on the increased value of the land from the improvements.

“This development meets the criteria for the major development incentive,” Ellis said.

He noted that while the developer will be eligible for the incentive for a possible 10 years, the rental housing must continue to be owned and operated by the developer, “or they will be required to repay the city for all grant money disbursed.

“However, the agreement can be transferred to another owner with city approval if (the developer) chooses to sell or transfer this property. Other conditions that the developer/property owner must meet to remain eligible for the grants are also specified.”

Council will vote on the incentive agreement next week.

Comments (10)

Up 0 Down 0

Michael on Jul 3, 2017 at 1:47 pm

I built two 500 square feet units one street down from this proposed development and I got $5,000 dollar grant from the government and a $10,000 tax incentive from the City. To think I felt lucky at that time. $500,000 plus the major development incentive which is much more significant than a measly $10,000. Jeez I must be talking to the wrong people in this town!!!

Up 1 Down 0

CJ on May 24, 2017 at 7:31 pm

There's a difference to me between Yukon Housing supporting this and the city giving tax breaks. Especially considering the kerfuffle around the land improvements for neighbourhoods and that consolidation building project that the city rewrote their debt legislation for.

As for Kobayashi Zedda's facility with manipulating governments and receiving obsequious remarks from our politicians to boot -- well, I'm in awe. It just kind of brings the city's scolding of Hillcrest residents' response to expensive land improvement plans into sharp relief, and countless other similar situations.

Up 12 Down 2

Joe on May 24, 2017 at 8:12 am

What a scam. My taxes go up and I certainly don't support this project. Why is Yukon Housing giving money away? And why is the city giving away taxes?

Up 6 Down 15

Politico on May 23, 2017 at 4:26 pm

It's a shame that most people are criticizing the building of these units rather than celebrating 10 nice housing units for people to live in. At least the Liberals are encouraging this rather than like the Conservatives who shut down the last building project at the behest of the local realtors!

Up 24 Down 0

mary laker on May 21, 2017 at 8:03 pm

Tony Zedda has proven himself to be very talented at tapping into government money. 400 sq. ft. no-bedroom apartments for $795 a month - not at all a bargain with 10 jammed into one lot. He already received $500,000 for 4000 sq feet of housing = $125 a foot. With this next hand-out, he'll be up to a million dollars for 4000 sq ft of housing. More than it cost to build. Pathetic that the governments continuously allow this kind of abuse of our programs.

Up 27 Down 4

ProScience Greenie on May 20, 2017 at 11:45 am

Just more corporate welfare to this interconnected group with already fat wallets. Wonder if the new building will have the standard KZA boring shed roof with a few random peeled pine poles sticking out at odd angles? Will they nominate it for some ego-boosting obscure architectural award?

Want low cost housing? Then burst the artificial real estate and development bubble in Whitehorse. Best solution, but the powers that be will never allow it and see their bottom line hurt. Follow the money, it is all about greed, not people.

Up 25 Down 0

wundering on May 19, 2017 at 9:30 am

So if builder gets incentive for 10 years, it adds approx $400/ month to rental cost of suite?
Making total actually $1150./mon for 350 sqft?

Up 19 Down 0

Nile on May 18, 2017 at 8:39 pm

@TB Welfare pays $850 a month for rent. That sets the minimum that rent will be in Yukon.

Up 25 Down 2

yukon56 on May 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm

15 wide X 23 app Kitchen and bath pretty tiny for the money

Up 58 Down 4

Thomas Brewer on May 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm

$800 a month for a 350 sq foot micro apartment is not that great a deal, unsure if tax dollars should go to supporting this level of 'affordable housing'.

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