Boardwalk Q and A

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It appears developers of the empty concrete shell that looms over downtown Chatham may finally have to answer questions about the project.

For some three years, the Everlast Group has blocked a city sidewalk, part or all of two municipal streets and reduced core parking for its Boardwalk on the Thames condominium development.

The municipality has set aside more than $200,000 in incentives for the project, money that could be used for other projects.

Now councillor Doug Sulman is asking some tough questions about when the project will be completed and whether the developer is paying a fee for its use of municipal streets as is done in some other communities.

Questions concerning whether there was a “wink and a nod” agreement allowing Everlast an infinite amount of time to complete the work need to be answered, at least in terms of usage of public property.

Aside from safety infractions and labour issues, the project has been dogged by controversy including the motive behind the mayor’s sudden desire to move the Chatham Cenotaph away from the project (thereby increasing ease of access to it).

Only when it was noted the Cenotaph sits on the site of a battlefield was the notion discarded.

We’d love to bring you the answers to progress on the building but the developer hasn’t returned our calls in years.

We don’t operate as a public relations arm of the developer, gushing over the project’s state of the art balconies, the 80 per cent sold figures given out years ago, the new, even better crane on its way or claims about the weather.

We did some investigative journalism about a similar project Everlast undertook in another community and what we found didn’t inspire optimism.

Everlast has been in business for decades so it’s not as if the firm shouldn’t be capable but we wonder where Chatham ranks in terms of priorities.

We welcome the Boardwalk; we believe a downtown residential development is not only desirable but also eminently possible.

Whether its possible under Everlast may be another matter.

Comments

comments

7 COMMENTS

  1. Meanwhile he finished a project in Ridgetown, is in the process of finishing a project on Wellington and has been renovating the old YMCA building on King for repurposing, none of which is mentioned by the author.

  2. Councilors Sulman and Bondy have asked all the appropriate questions associated with this long over due project. One entity should not have a carte blanche approval to obstruct the down town in perpetuity ….our sidewalks, streets and businesses who are trying to prosper. I will say with a high degree of certainty, that any other city and developer in Ontario would have finished this project long, long ago. Administration's eventual response to the councillor's questions, will hopefully be enlightening.

  3. True Art ,none mentioned,there are tenants ready to move into the park st building,and the the old ymca is still being retrofitted with tenants already in the building.He does use his own crew to do all the work spread between 4 developments ,so they go where the greatest need is."where the people are paying" Yes as the saying goes it all come down to money!
    paul shettell ~ Chair Chatham B.I.A.

  4. Our Mayor and Mr. Boutin should be tarred and feathered for what they have both done to that eye sore that is downtown Chatham these last three years. China suits our Mayor better. He should move there and never come back!

  5. My brother looked into one of thoes places in Ridgetown. Nobody returned his calls or seemed to know who to contact. Why doesn't the media talk to Everlast employees, or ask why the former crane operator walked off the job, having been owed a substantial amount in backpay? Why have contractors not been paid? Bet you didn't know that Everlast employees have to fight just get paid every two weeks? There's so much more BS going on, you have no idea. I've spoken to certain individuals directly connected to this project, and what I've heard doesn't sit well. There's a stench hanging over this city, and it's not coming from the ethanol plant.

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