City of Welland
Community Improvement Plans (CIP) provide a variety of financial incentive programs to encourage redevelopment in key areas. As part of an ongoing series, I will be assessing the CIPs of specific areas within the Greater Horseshoe. The focus of CIPs in the City of Welland is the development and redevelopment of Brownfields. The City of Welland has a strong industrial background and recognizes the importance of marketing Brownfield redevelopment opportunities in the city, improving the image of Welland as a place to invest and do business.
Brownfield opportunities in Welland
Brownfields are abandoned, vacant, derelict, or under-utilized commercial and industrial properties. These sites hold the potential for redevelopment; however, redevelopment is complicated by environmental contamination. In addition to environmental concerns, Brownfield sites pose a significant economic and social concern for the City of Welland.
Attracting investment through incentive programs
The City of Welland is looking to improve areas of the City and attract new developments through incentive programs.
1. Environmental Site Assessment Grant (ESA) Program
The ESA Program is applicable to owners of properties within the urban area of the City of Welland and the Northwest Planning and Servicing Study Area.
During Phase I, ESA must show that the property is potentially contaminated and has the potential for rehabilitation or redevelopment.
Phase II involves matching grant (50%) for study costs
There is a maximum two studies per property and a maximum of $25,000 per property/project.
2. Brownfield Tax Assistance Program
The Tax Assistance Program sees a freeze of municipal (City and Regional) property taxes for up to 5 years and provincial (education) property taxes for up to 3 years.
Eligible costs include environmental remediation, risk management and site monitoring.
Tax assistance is not assignable and terminates if there is a change of ownership.
3. Brownfield Rehabilitation Grant Program
The Welland Brownfield Rehabilitation Grant Program starts after the Tax Assistance Program ends and involves up to 90% of increase in municipal (City and Region) property taxes result from the project paid to the developer in form of an annual grant for up to 10 years.
Eligible costs include the cost of environmental remediation and/or risk management.
Up-grading on-site and off-site infrastructure Grant level is dependent on LEED standard achieved.
4. Planning and Building Permit Fees Refund Program
The City of Welland provides a refund of 100% of planning application fees, 100% of demolition permit fee, and between 50-100% of building permit fee depending if LEED standard is achieved.
The program is offeed for 5 years, with an option to extend for 5 years.
Sites with key strategic value
The City of Welland currently has a large, vacant Brownfield site adjacent to the Welland Recreational Canal available. Situated in the heart of city, 1 Albert Street, Welland and 146 Lincoln Street, Welland both offer a great opportunity for developers. The sites offer 385.79 combined frontage on Lincoln Street. The Albert Street site is zoned for multiple dwelling (fourth density zone), while the Lincoln Street site is zoned for shopping commercial. The sites are located near the hospital, the arena, and the Welland Wellness Complex. Both properties are eligible for the City of Welland’s Community Improvement Plans incentive programs.
By providing incentives for Brownfields redevelopment, the City of Welland will improve the quality of neighbourhoods, improving the quality of life within the city, ultimately creating new business opportunities and jobs. By combining a marketing approach along with incentives, the City of Welland will see revitalization. Connect with me for more information on Brownfields and the commercial redevelopment opportunities in Welland, specifically on Albert Street and Lincoln Street.