Municipal officials point to the Chatham-Kent Community Improvement Plan as to the stimulus in three new apartment construction projects this year.
Approved last March by municipal council, the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) has been instrumental in helping to drive new housing, specifically rental unit development, across the region, municipal officials said.
Following the launch of the program, a new 244-apartment unit was launched by Piroli Group Developments at 550 Park Ave. W.
This was the first of what has been a number of applications and developments to come to Chatham-Kent.
Another example of development thanks to the CIP, municipal officials said, includes the two new proposed apartments by Skyline, which will see 142 units come to 53-57 Riverview Dr. in Chatham.
“Making the decision to invest and build in Chatham-Kent was made significantly easier thanks to a combination of factors. They had the infrastructure in place that we could connect into, they had key information about water, sanitary sewer capacity and other utilities readily available, and overall they were prepared, and eager to help,” said Carrie Lamarche, Vice President, SkyDev, in a media release. “We plan to commence construction in the spring and anticipate welcoming the first residents to this exciting development in summer 2022.”
The focus of the CIP, according to municipal staff, is to encourage development initiatives and stimulate new investment across Chatham-Kent by offering tax assistance and other grants to large apartment and affordable housing projects, and new commercial and industrial builds. There are specific time limits set on each program and incentives to ensure that projects move along in a timely manner and the community realizes the benefits as quickly as possible.
“Encouraging new housing development is a high priority for Chatham-Kent, which is why the CIP and other initiatives are being launched with some aggressive and actionable time lines. Some incentives are only available for a limited time so we encourage developers to start the application process now,” said Ryan Jacques, director of Chatham-Kent Planning Services.
New rental housing development has also picked up outside of Chatham. On Nov. 23, council approved a new rental development by Tunio Developments Inc. at 23 Louise St. in Tilbury.
“Municipal staff have been working with Tunio Developments Inc. to move forward with a four-storey apartment which will contain 18 units,” said Jacques. “There will be a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, with several being accessible-ready.”
Following the council meeting, Khurram Tunio from Tunio Developments Inc., said, “It has been great to see the enthusiasm the mayor and council expressed for this new residential development and recognized it as a boon for the community. We really appreciate the clear-headed, development-minded support that the municipality has offered.”