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Industry, community eager for new incentives to revitalize Regina

Wendy Miller, Executive Director of the Heritage Community Association, said:

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We often hear that real estate is all about location.

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But for developers looking to bring their vision to life, making a project work isn’t just about being close to a good school or a nice park.

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Taking the vacant lot at Douglas Park in Regina as an example, Stu Niebergall, president and CEO of the Regina & Region Home Builders’ Association, thought:

Located in the heart of a great community, 5 minutes walk to Wascana Park, a short bike ride from downtown, quick access to the ring road, and steps away from a brand new elementary school.

So why is it still for sale after two years?

“The reality is in the current process … that school site needs to be rezoned from institutional to multi-use, and while that process is going on, we hire engineers to do all the work and make sure it’s right. We have to decide if Spot has the ability to serve mixed-use developments,” Niebergal said in an interview Thursday.

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“Do you have enough water? Do you have enough fire flow? Do you have enough sewage capacity?

“Then you have to put together a plan. In today’s environment, you can jump through all these hoops to move your project forward. You only need five people in your community who aren’t happy with it. City Council , and your project could be under water,” he added.

“The reality in that environment is that no one is willing to take that risk, and that’s a big challenge to intensify.”

But if the city could pre-determine the zoning, density, building morphology, etc. of these types of vacant lots and identify what the service infrastructure is or could be, it would provide the certainty needed to attract investment. Niebergal says it gives you sex. For Strengthening – A goal that the city has been striving to achieve.

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That is why the association is encouraged by a report Wednesday that received unanimous support from the Executive Committee in Regina.

A report first discussed in detail by the commission last week outlined a strengthening and revitalizing incentive program targeted at the city center, with successful amendments put forward by Mayor Sandra Masters. So do the heritage and north-central communities after being filed back.

To focus on activating “strategic areas and corridors” rather than defining neighborhood boundaries, in addition to financial incentives to develop new buildings or improve existing ones In addition, we are also considering recalibrating the scope of our neighborhood planning program. Consider improving streetscapes and “public areas”. Analyze infrastructure opportunities and constraints related to potential enhanced development opportunities. It also identifies key sites with potential for rezoning to accommodate “more intensive land use.”

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“The reason why we are excited about this part of the report – analyzing infrastructure capacity, improving streetscapes, etc. – is that it incorporates the taste[of what we have been pushing].” says Niebergall. “It’s complicated, but these are the things we need to move forward because we always need certainty in our development investments.”

Masters told media outlets this week that market research shows there is great opportunity and a need for investment in these target areas, and it is unclear how widespread they will be, but what progress they will make. I said it’s worth trying to see if you can see it.

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“We’re trying to see if it actually causes a revitalization or intensification and is very important to expand into two residential neighborhoods adjacent to the downtown core.” Let’s try it for a year and see what happens, hopefully with some success.”

Regina Mayor Sandra Masters delivers opening remarks at the city council meeting at Regina's Henry Baker Hall on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
Regina Mayor Sandra Masters delivers opening remarks at the city council meeting at Regina’s Henry Baker Hall on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader Post

In a statement provided to the Leadership Post, the Heritage Community Association (HCA) said it wanted to be an “active partner” in this process, working with the city to raise awareness of the “diverse needs” of the community. You said you want to raise it. .

“This program has the potential to increase safe housing, support local communities, attract new business and increase neighborhood pride,” said HCA Executive Director Wendy Miller.

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As the community develops, she said she expects additional services to be established in the area, including grocery stores, doctors’ offices, schools, day care centers and more. Stay here, participate in community care, invest in community care,” Miller wrote.

In a recent interview, Murray Giesbrecht, executive director of the North Central Community Association, expressed similar hopes, but expressed concerns about how new developments might affect neighborhood affordability and Together.

In other words, what effect will the incentives to tear down and rebuild abandoned homes have on rental rates?

Masters doesn’t believe the two are necessarily correlated.

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“This is for commercial spaces, façades and sprinkler systems because fire codes have changed. I don’t think it’s appropriate to guess about landlords and renters.This will also be available to owners,” she said.

“So if an owner wants to use incentives to demolish a house that is probably not currently usable, that would put the house back on the market, so having some offset in terms of rent means you can get the rent cheaper. You can hold it down.”

The report and recommendations will need to be submitted to the city council next week for a final vote, but unanimous approval by the executive committee would normally mark a deal done.

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“I think it’s a really good start,” Niebergal said. “There is certainly more work to be done, but how this took shape and what success it has had, both the city and the industry are self-discovering the kinds of tools cities need to achieve. We will see what makes it possible to achieve that enhancement goal.”

“At the end of the day, two things matter: population growth and greater investment certainty.”

jackerman@postmedia.com

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Industry, community eager for new incentives to revitalize Regina

Source link Industry, community eager for new incentives to revitalize Regina

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