Kingston Council to consider the sale of City-owned land for housing development

Photo by Lucas Mulder/Kingstonist.

At a meeting on Tues. March 7, 2023, Kingston City Council will decide whether to sell two municipally-owned properties in an attempt to facilitate the construction of new housing units in the City.

A report prepared by City staff is calling on councillors to approve the sales of 900 Division Street and 33 Compton Street in an effort to “promote the construction of new housing developments and more specifically, to create additional affordable housing units.”

The two lands have been identified as having “immediate development potential,” meaning new units could be built at a rapid pace, helping alleviate the City’s housing crunch. To ensure the properties are used for development that meets the City’s housing needs, staff are recommending a number of sale conditions.

For 900 Division Street, the report recommends a minimum of five new affordable housing units as a condition of sale for the site. The property, located at the intersection of Division Street and Elliot Street, is approximately 1.25 acres. Due to the fact the site is in an area that already includes a number of affordable housing developments, staff are recommending a minimum of five new affordable units for the property. The report suggests such units could be operated through a partnership with a not-for-profit organization. 

While such a condition will likely impact the final sale price of the property, the report notes the disposition of the lands will still generate a profit, and “yield a feasible project for the purchaser.” Staff add that any revenues generated through the sale of 900 Division Street can be reinvested in future affordable housing developments.

The second property listed in the staff report is 33 Compton Street, the former site of the City-operated Oakwood Preschool and Childcare Centre, which has been closed since 2013. The school building was torn down in 2015 and the property has been vacant ever since. Staff are recommending that Council approve a sale of the 1.4-acre location to make way for new market housing, due to the fact the existing neighbourhood is “primarily comprised of social housing.”

According to the report, “the introduction of new market housing in this area will serve to diversify the housing options available in the neighbourhood and support the increased supply of housing in the city more broadly.” Staff note that current zoning for the site allows for a four-storey, 49-unit apartment building, along with eight new townhouses.

Like the property at 900 Division Street, staff anticipate an impact on the final sale price of the land, as 33 Compton Street is located in an area with a significant number of social housing units already in place. “The primary objective of the site’s disposal is to support housing diversity in this area of the city. Profits generated from this sale would be reinvested in the development of affordable housing elsewhere in the City,” adds the report.

The sale of both properties is in keeping with the City’s new interdepartmental housing accelerator team and follows the recommendations identified through the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing. According to the report, the housing accelerator team has two main objectives: 1) Advance new housing projects to a stage so that they are ready to receive municipal, provincial, or federal capital funding when and if it becomes available, and 2) Identify City-owned properties that can be deployed for all types of housing development.

“Staff anticipates the shovel-ready projects will include partnerships with non-profit and private sector partners, and possibly other levels of government. Identified projects may be on public or privately owned land and will support the creation of new housing that might not be made available otherwise,” the report to Council states. 

The staff report will be debated during City Council’s meeting on Tues. March 7, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. inside Council Chambers, which will be open to the public and available to stream live on the Kingston City Council YouTube channel.

One thought on “Kingston Council to consider the sale of City-owned land for housing development

  • Wouldn’t it save time if Developers were asked what would they like and how much would they like to pay?

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