Comment 33495

By Tammany (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2009 at 16:28:35

Rusty,

Neither option is viable. With respect to option A, we will never see serious enforcement of contracts or development by-laws against politically influential developers. This rarely happens even in real cities with high levels of political integrity. It certainly won't happen in Hamilton (unless a reform administration is somehow miraculously voted in in the future). With respect to option B, Battaglia and friends would never let the property go (especially to the City) without an absolutely extortionate payment. Why do you think they bought a landmark building to begin with? Because they knew from the start that the hearts and minds of Hamiltonians still have a strong connection to the building and that if they sat on it long enough they would be able to leverage this into profit without risk.

The only viable option (and it really isn't viable at all if truth be told) is to have the structure designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and then to expropriate it under s.36(2) (the City in such a case would only have to pay FMV, which on the Connaught would probably be a few million at most). Again though, there would have to be very serious political will for this to happen, and it just isn't there ...

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