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Press release from CNW Group

RioCan Clarifies Its Development Proposal for the Kromer Radio Site

Thursday, June 06, 2013

RioCan Clarifies Its Development Proposal for the Kromer Radio Site

16:27 EDT Thursday, June 06, 2013

RioCan Acknowledges and is Listening to the Public's Concerns

TORONTO, June 6, 2013 /CNW/ - RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (RioCan) (TSX: REI.UN), Canada's largest real estate investment trust, today provided clarification and acknowledged public concerns related to its development proposal for Toronto's Kromer Radio site (410-446 Bathurst Street).

RioCan is committed to developing a retail project for the Kromer Radio site that will improve the site and the Bathurst Street corridor and at the same time will respect the needs of the community.RioCan also acknowledges the public is concerned about the development of this site. At this evening's public meeting, RioCan will outline its retail development proposal for the site, listen to and address the public's concerns, and answer any related development proposal questions.

In addition, RioCan would like to clarify the following points related to its development proposal:

  • The Kromer Radio site today is zoned Mixed Use Commercial Retail (MCR), a designation that permits retail uses.  It is important to note that zoning by laws regulate use and not users;
  • RioCan believes its proposed plan for the Kromer Radio site is entirely consistent with the general intent and policies of the City's Official Plan which encourages appropriate growth (including retail uses) within Mixed Use areas;
  • RioCan believes the proposed form of urban retail uses proposed in this project is an appropriate and desirable response to growth of the residential population within the city;
  • The proposed uses of the development, including smaller retail uses on the ground floor will provide area residents and employees within the area shopping choices that they do not have today. This is entirely consistent with the City's Official Plan policy that encourages, "a broad range of shopping opportunities for local residents and employees in a variety of settings." and
  • RioCan's development proposal is not new. It is the same proposal that has been under consideration since last year.  The OMB denied RioCan's application for process reasons and did not make a decision based on the merits of the proposal. RioCan has accepted the OMB decision and is now following the re-zoning process laid out by the OMB.

"RioCan is committed to developing a mid-rise urban format retail centre that will significantly improve the area while respecting the needs of the community. We believe this development will be an economic benefit to the Bathurst Street corridor and provide residents with additional and alternative retail choices," said Jordan Robins, Senior Vice-President, Planning and Development, RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust.

In addition, please find below a historical timeline of RioCan's Kromer Radio development proposal.

Historical Timeline:

Date Activity
March 2011 RioCan contracted to purchase the Kromer Radio site.     
          
March 22,
2011
Preliminary meeting with Planning Staff to discuss concept and application.
         
March 29,
2011
Introductory meeting with Councillor Layton to present concept and discuss approaching the community.
         
July 2011 RioCan closed the transaction.
         
August 2,
2011
RioCan discusses scheduling of community meeting with Councillor Layton.
         
September
2011
RioCan participated in a Public Meeting with Councillor Layton and the community to review the development proposal for the Kromer Radio site.
         
October 15,
2011
RioCan and its market consultant participates in walking tour of Kensington market facilitated by the Kensington BIA
         
December 15,
2011
RioCan submitted a Minor Variance and Site Plan Application to City Planning Staff.
         
October-
December
2011
In preparation for its application for minor variance and site plan approval :
         
    RioCan commissioned an independent, detailed traffic study that showed that a retail development in this location would not adversely impact local traffic flow.
    RioCan commissioned an independent Market Study that concluded that the proposed development would not have an adverse impact on the economic health of nearby shopping districts.
    RioCan commissioned a Planning Rationale Report that concluded the proposed development is entirely consistent with The City's Official Plan.
    RioCan commissioned a Sun Shadow report that demonstrated that the development will have no meaningful shadow impact on the surrounding properties.
    RioCan commissioned a Functional Servicing Report that showed that there is sufficient capacity to accommodate the proposed development.
         
March 30,
2012
RioCan meeting with Staff to discuss possible revisions concept.
         
April 24, 2012 RioCan meeting with Planning staff to discuss revisions to Plans.
         
April 25, 2012 RioCan's revised concept plans submitted to Planning Department
         
May 28, 2012 After extensive review, City Staff provided a favourable staff report that stated the RioCan proposal "...would provide for a built form that meets the general intention of the Official Plan, zoning by-law and the guidance of the Avenues and mid Rise Buildings Study."
  In conjunction with their favourable report, staff prepared the  Notice of Approval Conditions for the site plan application and forwarded it to the Committee of Adjustment
         
May 30, 2012
The Committee of Adjustment refused the Variance Application and Site Plan Application.
         
June 15, 2012 RioCan filed an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) for both the Variance and the Site Plan Application.
         
October 12,
2012
RioCan presented its appeal to the OMB.
         
December 18, 2012 The OMB denied RioCan's appeal on the basis that the RioCan proposal required a zoning amendment and refused the site plan application on the basis that the necessary zoning variances were not approved. The OMB may not finding on the planning merits of the proposal.
         
January 13, 2013 RioCan meeting with planning staff to discuss resubmission as a Rezoning application.
         
February 22, 2013 RioCan submitted rezoning and site plan applications in connection with the proposed retail centre.
         
March 27,
2013
City Planning, Policy and Research issued a notice of complete rezoning application.
         
April 23, 2013 RioCan met with City Planning, Policy and Research to set parameters for any supplementary information and areas of study.
  As a result, RioCan subsequently commissioned supplementary market assessment work, including customer intercept studies and telephone surveys.
         
May 14, 2013 Community Council receives Preliminary Report and directs that:
    The Community consultation meeting be scheduled with 120 m notice and to additional residents, as determined by their local councillor
    The final report include and analysis of:
      Impact of the project on the future built form of Bathurst St.
      The economic impact of the project
      The appropriateness of large format retail in this area
      Transportation impacts on the Bathurst Streetcar and Toronto Western Hospital.
June 2013 RioCan's market consultant conducts customer intercept and telephone surveys.
  Tabulation and analysis is in progress.
  The final report is expected to be completed by July 31, 2013.
         
June 6, 2013 RioCan participates in Non Statutory community meeting  hosted by local Ward councillor, Michael Layton.
         
TBD City Staff provide report with recommendations to Council on the rezoning and site plan application.

About RioCan

RioCan is Canada's largest real estate investment trust with a total capitalization of approximately $14.4 billion as at March 31, 2013. It owns and manages Canada's largest portfolio of shopping centres with ownership interests in a portfolio of 344 retail properties containing more than 84 million square feet, including 50 grocery anchored and new format retail centres containing 13.7 million square feet in the United States through various joint venture arrangements as at March 31, 2013. RioCan's portfolio also includes 11 properties under development in Canada. For further information, please refer to RioCan's website at www.riocan.com.

SOURCE: RioCan

For further information:

Colleen Finnegan, Kaiser Lachance Communications
Colleen.finnegan@kaiserlachance.com
416.618.4605 (C)

Anne Lachance, Kaiser Lachance Communications
Anne.Lachance@kaiserlachance.com
647.725.2525 x. 201 (O)
416.889.8551 (C)

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