Construction Begins on Downtown Windsor Condo

Construction is officially under way on a new downtown Windsor condominium with high hopes it will spark further investments downtown.

A ground breaking ceremony has taken place at 955 Ouellette, near Erie St. named "955-on the Avenue."

The $7-million, 32-unit luxury apartment condominium will be offered for long-term rentals.

Valente Development Corporation President Peter Valente says the building will have a traditional look and will fit in well with the community.

He believes there is a demand for quality rental units downtown, given the employment prospects downtown along with the university and college campuses in the city core.

"I think it is going to be hopefully a catalyst and hopefully this is the beginning of a renaissance and a lot of people, other developers that have land, if this is successful, they will follow suit," he says.

The units inside will be modern with granite countertops, ensuite laundry, hard surface flooring and nine foot ceilings.

For now, the units are not for sale.

"They are just for rental right now," says Valente.  "I'm not certain that the market is ready for people to buy down here, they are going to be condo titled so that may present itself in the future to allow people to buy them.

He acknowledges the city offered great incentives to develop the land.

"There is no development charges, which would cost you $12,000 per unit in other areas of the city," he says.  "They are also agreeing to hold the line on the taxes that I pay right now based on vacant land so I'm paying the same taxes for 10 years even though I'm going to increase the value so much."

Ward 3 Councillor Rino Bortolin, who represents the downtown, supports the deferred taxes option saying the development is a boost for the area.

"What this unit does for the property taxes in the immediate neighbourhood. This building will have a ripple effect for all the neighbouring properties so their values go up," says Bortolin.

Bortolin says the last time a condo unit was built in the downtown was 40-50 years ago so the pickings are slim.

 Construction should be completed in about 12 months.