Action Sandy Hill reaching out to developers

John Cockburn

In response to the City’s adoption of the revisions to the R4 designation for Sandy Hill it is likely that the building of or conversion to low-rise apartments in our community will accelerate. Among other things the revisions will increase the number of units permitted in this type of building to as many as twelve units. Yes, even more density for Sandy Hill.

In response Action Sandy Hill is proposing a proactive approach to ensure that the community’s voice is heard as projects start to roll out. The new strategy is to reach out to developers on a one-on-one basis in the hope of establishing a more informed, collaborative approach to resolving development issues. It is hoped that, over time, ongoing relationships will develop between the community and developers, particularly regarding the external design aspects.

In an initial effort in October, ASH met with representatives of Smart Living, one of the more active Sandy Hill developers. They shared their new strategy of renovating/redeveloping existing “short term rental” (rooming houses) into fully furnished, (all utilities included in rent) co-living spaces combining individual bedroom and bathrooms with shared common areas (kitchen, lounge etc). They specifically stated they were not interested in taking advantage of the City’s new R4 rezoning options. Their target is longer-term renters, 2–3 years, specifically young professionals rather than their current focus on students. We will see. (Smart Living is involved with a project on Osgoode Street. See Larry Newman’s story on p.6)

Next on ASH’s list is TC United and other developers active in Sandy Hill.