Stalled St. Catharines housing project hopes to start over with new builder

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Published February 14, 2023 at 3:00 pm

The land at 320 Geneva St. is once again up for housing proposals after an earlier project for the plot of land fell through.

Back in late 2021, St. Catharines was pretty excited to announce their surplus property at 320 Geneva St. was going to be revitalized with a mix of new housing.

The project was meet with some enthusiasm as the housing was going to be a mix of market-value, social-assisted housing and the balance being affordable housing.

However, as the pandemic wore on and housing material prices started to spiral upwards, the builder, Penn Terra Group Limited, had to step away as it could no longer meet the project deadlines.

But a new year brings new goals and St. Catharines is once again kick-starting its efforts to see 320 Geneva St. redeveloped into a project that includes affordable housing.

At the Feb. 13 council meeting, councillors agreed it was time to put out requests for proposal to builders interested in the prime real estate.

At the same time, they agreed to finishing the demolition left to do on the property.

“While affordable housing does not fall under a lower-tier municipality’s jurisdiction, the City – and our new Council – is committed to supporting the creation of more affordable housing and will use any tools available to us to address the issue,” said St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe.

“As we look to find a proponent to redevelop the property, we are looking forward to seeing proposals come forward to help our vision become reality under the current market conditions.”

As part of the process, the City will also be working with partners to look at incentives and funding opportunities to support the private construction of affordable housing.

The 3.9-acre property, formerly home to the City’s Community, Recreation and Culture Services (CRCS) administrative offices and vehicle bays, was originally deemed surplus in February of 2020 and Council directed staff to look at redevelopment opportunities that included a component of social, affordable and market housing.

 

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