A vacant building on city-owned land on Monaghan Road could soon be demolished to make way for the affordable apartment complex the city plans to build in the next four or five years.
The city purchased 681 Monaghan Rd. in late 2020.
On this property stands a building that once housed the Community Development and Training Center and the Learning Circle Daycare; the daycare is permanently closed and the training programs no longer operate from there.
The plan is to demolish the building and replace it with an affordable apartment complex, which is expected to take up to five years to plan.
In the meantime, councilors want to act quickly to demolish the vacant building.
The idea is to save money. Demolition costs have been on the rise lately, a city staff report says, so it will be less expensive to raze the building sooner than later.
There may also soon be funding opportunities from the Ontario or federal governments for affordable housing projects where construction can begin quickly — without having to demolish an existing building first, for example.
Demolition is expected to cost $300,000. The city can draw it from a $361,000 provincial government reserve fund previously granted for projects to make life more affordable for tenants.
At a virtual committee meeting on Monday evening, councilors gave preliminary approval to consider using reserve funding for demolition. The plan must be voted on at an upcoming board meeting.
There was no debate or discussion prior to approval.
Details such as the number of units of the future apartment complex are not yet finalized: the city has met with Lett Architects and other consultants on this subject, but further studies are needed (neighborhood impact studies , for example, and other technical studies on stormwater and sewer management).
It’s also unclear how much it will cost to rent the apartments that will eventually be built, although the staff report explains that a mix of below-market rents and market-rent units would make the complex financially viable and produce also a “mixed income”. community” of tenants.
Because planning for the new building is expected to take a few years, the city council had previously hoped to install 10 modular homes on the property in the interim (rather than leave the land vacant).
But that plan fell through in 2021 after Peterborough was turned down for the federal grant that would have paid for the modular homes.