City of Hamilton press release: settlement in Fifty Road Wal-mart development lawsuit

The following is the text of a press release issued by the City of Hamilton at 09:30 today.

For Immediate Release

Agreement clears path for Fifty Road commercial (Winona Wal-mart) and transit developments

Hamilton, ON – November 7, 2011 – An agreement that implements the City’s vision for the development of commercial lands in Winona has been reached and is expected to benefit both the City of Hamilton and local development partnership, Penady.  The agreement, approved by City Council, will allow for a commercial complex to be built on the site and will allow for the City to proceed with planning for the proposed transit hub that could accommodate future HSR and GO transit service. The City and Penady have completed discussions, looking at ways to work together on the development of property on the southwest corner at Fifty Road and South Service Road.

The proposed 443,000 square-foot commercial development can go ahead. The City will receive one acre of land, at no cost, for the proposed transportation hub. As well, Penady will withdraw a lawsuit against the City of Hamilton and Councillor Brenda Johnson, amend a severance application before the Ontario Municipal Board in accordance with the agreement with the City and, has already withdrawn a “bump-up” request on the GO Niagara Environmental Assessment.

Penady is pleased with this resolution which will result in a much needed development and transit hub proceeding and would like to acknowledge the integrity of Councillor Johnson and the City in reaching this resolution.
“At this time, we would like to thank Councillor Johnson and City staff for their vigilance in moving this resolution forward in the best interests of the community”, said Leger Xavier, Vice President, Development and Leasing, PenEquity Realty Corporation.

The City is expected to receive approximately $7 million in development charges for the property, in addition to annual tax revenues. The City’s contribution for infrastructure improvements to the South Service Road will be approximately $100,000.

At the recommendation of Councillor Johnson, Penady have donated $2,000 to the soon to be Winona Recreation Centre.

“The agreement helps meet Council’s vision of the area. This settlement allows the development to move forward in a way that meets the needs of the community which includes the transportation hub as originally planned”, said Councillor Brenda Johnson.

“Staff can now proceed with a fiscally responsible transit strategy that meets the short-term and long-term goals of the City”, added City Manager, Chris Murray.  “City ownership of property at the site will allow GO to develop a business case for service to Fifty Road, in addition to stops at Centennial Parkway and James Street North.”

Councillor Johnson stated, “I look forward to continuing to work with the Community Liaison Committee and Penady representatives to maintain a continued consultation with residents as the development proceeds.”