Whitehorse Daily Star

City approves downtown development incentive

A local developer will 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.

By Stephanie Waddell on June 14, 2017

A local developer will 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.

City council approved the development incentive agreement at a meeting late last month.

That follows the approval of zoning amendments made last fall for the development planned by 360 Design Build.

The four-storey structure is planned to feature 10 units that would be between 350 and 411 square feet.

The apartments would be above commercial space on the main floor of the building. A rooftop patio is also planned for the building.

To remain 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 city’s development incentive, 360 Design Build was also approved for $500,000 from the territory to build the structure.

In an earlier report to council, Mike Ellis, the city’s acting manager of planning and sustainability, said the policy for development incentives offered by the city is intended to encourage 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.

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.”

Comments (7)

Up 0 Down 0

Shoebox on Jun 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm

It's utterly asinine that the sycophants in charge would pander to this. it's pretty easy to design a shoebox apartment from the comfort of your wealthy mansions eh.

Up 19 Down 0

Jonathan Colby on Jun 16, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Nothing like watching the Old Boys' Club favorite architect being fast-tracked to increase their own personal wealth using taxpayer money.
Under the cover of affordable housing, too. Can't help the poors if no one is making a buck!

Shame on the lot of 'em.

Up 8 Down 1

Nile on Jun 15, 2017 at 6:31 pm

@Matt. I think you may have missenterpreted what I said. Good on business for taking advantage of bad government policy.

Up 18 Down 1

Robert Scott on Jun 15, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Not sure about everyone else but I am tired of corporate welfare. It's unfair to taxpayers while the rich keep getting richer. Amazing how council and mayor can vote for this while raising our taxes, user feedback and utilities every year!

Up 7 Down 8

Matt on Jun 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

hey Nile.....you put up the money then.....you go!

Up 15 Down 2

Josey Wales on Jun 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

We have more corporate welfare, more inept decisions outta the hall of entitlement.
Maaaaaaaan o man do we need a BIG reset in this sty run by morons.
A wealth transfer team of politically correct liberal sycophants governing us not representing us...

Up 27 Down 5

Nile on Jun 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Save $500,000 so you can kick everyone out in ten years and double the rent. That's an amazing deal.

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