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Not-for-profit looking for city's help with new building

10 Carden presents possible ways city could give them a break at the old Ackers Furniture store
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42 Carden Street, longtime home of Acker's Furniture, has been sold to the community organization 10 Carden.

The not-for-profit organization that bought the old Ackers Furniture store in downtown Guelph wants the City of Guelph to explore some new ways of helping them out financially.

The building, which sits across from City Hall, has been purchased by a not-for-profit 10 Carden and is being renovated to become primarily a community space for various organizations.

10 Carden had asked the city to consider purchasing a $50,000 “community bond” to help finance the project, but were informed by staff that the Municipal Act does not permit a municipality to invest in unsecured bonds.

10 Carden appeared at the city’s Public Services Committee earlier this week asking staff to consider four measures to help them financially:

  • increase post-renovation taxes gradually over a five-year span rather than immediately increasing them to the new market value, which 10 Carden says will double once construction is complete later this year.
  • consider the building for a pilot project under the GEERS energy retrofit program.
  • give a parking fee break to contractors working on the building, which they said would save 10 Carden $25,0000.
  • find a way to allow 10 Carden to hook up to infrastructure on the Carden Street side of the building, not the proposed Macdonell Street side. While that might be more inconvenient for the city, it would save 10 Carden money.

Deputy CAO Scott Stewart said staff would look at the parking and infrastructure issues, but while the city does have a tax-break policy for charities, it doesn’t for not-for-profits.

Mayor Cam Guthrie pointed out that a break in parking fees would bring a deluge of requests from other downtown businesses doing renovations, so it would probably have to be a part of a bigger city analysis of the issue.