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- by Peter Reid

It’s been two years now since I acquired the Chicago Building in the 200 block of 10th Street East. In October 2016 the building was completely empty. The Artists' Co-op had moved to 2nd Avenue; and the apartments had been vacant for over a decade.

The store front was returned to the three separate units that are currently home to All Things T, TrickyBjj and Whimsy. All three are new businesses to Owen Sound.

Next, the three apartments were completely renovated. New thermal windows were installed throughout for energy efficiency and residents' comfort. One by one as each was finished it became someone’s home.

Now the city can collect the full tax rate on the building without the 30% vacancy rebate. Now there are three new businesses contributing to the local economy, one of which (All Things T) supports over 60 local artisans by giving an outlet for their works. Now there are tenants in clean, safe and affordable housing.

The Downtown Improvement Area (DIA) Board of Management and the City of Owen Sound have a plan to take 80% of the levy (surcharge) that is collected from the businesses in the Downtown Improvement Area. The City plans to use the money to provide free parking for employees, residents and customers alike of an area that extends beyond the DIA boundaries.
This response to a public desire for consistent parking rules and enforcement will itself still require paid enforcement of whatever limits the City might decide upon, and puts the tenants of the Chicago Building and others on 10th Street at risk, especially in winter, of having their only parking filled with the vehicles of the hundreds of employees and residents of the buildings surrounding the City's Lot 3.

One step forward...




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