Creating a Vibrant Downtown

City staff presented the Downtown Community Improvement Plan (CIP) report yesterday to the City’s Planning and Development Committee.

The Downtown CIP aims to attract new office development to the downtown. New office development has not occurred in the downtown for decades because of the high costs of building underground parking. The CIP will allow the City to consider providing financial incentives to eligible projects to offset these high costs.

The report takes into consideration public input received on four proposed incentive programs with recommended changes. Once the CIP is approved, all of the programs will come into effect if no appeals are brought forward.

  • Tax Increment Equivalent Grant (TIEG) – a grant equal to a portion of a municipal property tax increase that relates to a development or improvement.
  • Development Processing Fees Grant – a rebate on municipal planning fees (e.g., rezoning, site plan application fees).
  • Municipally Funded Parking Program – the City may build and own a municipal stand-alone parking space. Alternatively, the City may co-locate part of a municipally owned parking space within a private office building development.
  • Municipal Property Acquisition and Disposition – the City may purchase key properties and redevelop them for office buildings. The City may also choose to dispose of City-owned lands to attract new office development.

“The Downtown CIP is a toolbox of incentives where applicants can choose to apply for one or a combination of programs,” said John Kovac, Ward 4 Councillor. “However, the CIP offers no guarantees of any loans or grants, but rather, applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis for loan and grant considerations.”

The report also recommends a by-law authorizing the City Manager to approve the Development Processing Fees Grant and Tax Increment Equivalent Grant. In addition, the City is asking the Region of Peel to develop a Regional Community Improvement Plan to support office development.

“Downtown Mississauga has not seen significant office development in over 20 years,” said Nando Iannicca, Ward 7 Councillor. “Application of the CIP will help create incentives and attract much needed new office development in our downtown.”

The goal of the Downtown CIP is to create more job opportunities that will help balance growth and create a complete community that includes:

  • a lively, pedestrian and transit-oriented urban space
  • support for existing and planned transit infrastructure
  • support for arts, culture, recreation, entertainment and other employment uses

“With population growth, intensification and the upcoming Hurontario Light Rail Transit, Mississauga’s downtown is poised to transform significantly in the coming years,” said Ed Sajecki, Commissioner of Planning and Building. “By stimulating private sector investment and office development, increased job opportunities can attract talent and create a vibrant downtown and complete community.”

The Downtown CIP is a five-year pilot and will be implemented the day after the adopting by-law is approved, subject to no appeals. The report will go to City Council for approval on April 26.

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