A Few Thoughts on Week 55

Happy Easter!

  • The latest episode of Mean, Median and Moose is out in which we discuss community consultations including an interview with Nader Shureih of Environics Analytics on supporting local governments on consulting and understanding their communities
  • You can hear the Season finale of Council Conversations with Armine Yalnizyan on your favourite podcasting platform now!
    • Season 2 is in the works, more info on that soon!
  • This interview with Enrico Moretti who is a favourite urban economist of mine offers a very interesting take on the future of Cities in the US post Covid.
  • We all saw that Studio 4 was torn down this weekend which raises the question of what is going to go onto the land that it resided and the large undeveloped land along Huron Church.
    • In the spirit of NIMBY-ism I am going to make a case why the City shouldn’t allow the planned Plaza to go up. I fully recognize that it is zone to be commercial (actually commercial district major CD3) and this will likely be another plaza on Huron Church Rd. To be clear, my house doesn’t abut this property but I do let Izzy run through the field.
  • The property is own by Westdell Development Corp – which also owns the Plaza (FreshCo, Dollar Tree, Fit4Less, LCBO across the street, as well as some of the other units and smaller plazas further up Huron Church. So it is somewhat logical that they would want to build just across the street.
    • The first question that comes to mind is who will be the anchor tenant?
      • The only discount grocery store not at this corner is No-Frills.
      • Most fast food establishments are well represented along Huron Church Rd. is there a need or desire for any of those companies or franchisees too add another location?
        • You might be able to make an argument for some sort of sit down chain restaurant like a Kelsey’s or Boston Pizza as that is likely the most constrained food option in this area.
      • There are already two dollar stores in the adjacent plazas as well as a discount centre, not sure how viable another of this type of business is.
      • All of the big banks and a predatory Money Mart are also represented in the area. WFCU has a branch at the University.
      • Just a few km up the road are the outlet malls so I don’t know if a major clothing chain would be interested.
      • Some sort of medical centre could go there, but there are already a number of those further up Huron Church and down Tecumseh rd.
    • The sign below points retail, medical, fashion and food. None of which are in short supply along Huron Church Rd. with a commercial vacancy rate in the downtown of 23% and in the suburbs of 13.5%.
      • Of course that isn’t a reason not to build but my question is who is going to be there is an interesting on to consider.
  • The second point is that this plot of land has been a unofficial link in the Huron Church Greenbelt for a long time. For those that don’t know, the Huron Church Greenbelt is a part of the City park system. The Parkland runs from Millen St. to just North of the Popeyes Chicken, then starts again South of Dorchester Rd to Prince Rd.
    • I stopped counting at 40 trees on the property, as well as a hedge row that shelters the sidewalk from the traffic on Huron Church Road. Windsor has been doing a tree inventory and increasing tree coverage seeing the area clear cut for a plaza and parking lot would be a shame.
    • The lot also floods, whenever it rains and was holding standing water when I visited (Saturday). There are also Geese hanging out in the pods that form there. Obviously flooding is one of Windsor’s favourite issues but I have to say, West Windsor has largely been spared to date of this issue, but this is a large area of grassland that can absorb water that will likely be replaced by blacktop.
    • One of the cool things I found buried in the hedge row along Huron Church Road is a field stone wall (second last picture seen thicket in gallery below). I have no idea why it is there or what it’s purpose is.
  • Google maps also shows an alleyway that leads of Tecumseh road that services that back portion of the property. Although I would imaging that will become a truck turning point or back entry to the eventual plaza. The irregular shape of this property does create the potential that closer to Tecumseh road some non-commercial – mid-density residential could fit in the space along this alleyway assuming it is improved.
  • All of this to say, that another plaza is on the way.
  • This story about the HWY 413 developer connections by the Toronto Star is certainly interesting.
  • Due to the holiday there is no Sunday data in the charts above, it will be reported on Monday.

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