In case any of you have any doubts on what Mr. Assaff has planned for the land between the Bank of Montreal and Heritage Way. The following is one of his slides from Monday evenings council meeting:
A little explanation about the above so that you get a feel for what Mr. Assaff has planned for the gateway to our downtown, harbour and waterfront. On the corner of Heritage Way and Huron St we will have a three story boxy building bigger than the one at Huron and Hurontario. Mr. Assaff never does anything by chance so you can expect him to have a multi national company already in his pocket as an anchor tenant. That tenant will do nothing to attract one visitor to our town. By the way this plan that you see now, is the culmination of three years of planning and was always the big picture since before he purchased and the town bulldozed the Mountainview Hotel.
The waterfront will have commercial parking spaces along the south side of the road similar to what you see now behind the BMO and Rexall, all the way to Heritage Way, with the exception of the sliver of green space that Assaff is trying to purchase between the two properties. The rumour is that Assaff is already well on the way to owning the Fram property and he wants to get this done before those nosy people on the strategic advisory committee poke there noses into things. Also he will want to tie all parcels of land up, so nothing gets left to chance. One good thing is the town staff are bogged down right now so don’t hold your breath for a staff report within the Labour Day “No firm or fast timeline”. Even with the strategic plan in place look for an OMB appeal if our favorite developer doesn’t get exactly what he wants.
I have had a number of conversations with a couple of the councilors that allowed this sale to go to staff for review, and the general consensus is that they want to be seen to be letting the process be followed. My problem with that is the main part of that process should be to have a strategic plan in place first. Now if that strategic plans says that this very important piece of real estate should get an ugly boxy building on it and our waterfront be endless rows of parking spaces, then Assaff can fill his boots up.
Anyway folks what you have this time around is a front row seat of the underbelly of how business gets done in our town. They want to rush this sale along before the community based strategic plan shows us all what that important part of town should look like. If that happens then I guarantee your Mayor and her pals will be saying “You can’t force a land owner to do things with privately owned land.”
You have fair warning this time around and if this goes aheadyou can look no further than the mirror to see who is to blame. Email your council members and let them know you are mad as hell and will not take this anymore.