City debt and the sale of air rights. staff were tasked with a Herculean task to come back with a plan for the $332.6M project that would be “revenue neutral”. This project will require the city taking on over $500 million in debt and interest payments over 40 years. This is a significant amount of money, and part of it will be paid for by selling-off of a highly-valuable city asset, the air rights along the south side of Exhibition Way.
The loss of 58 000 square feet of public green space: the new event centre is proposed for the east end of the stadium, and it would encroach on the berm and Great Lawn by 50 meters. The event centre would be sunken with a green roof, but the roof would be inaccessible, taking away a significant portion of greenspace for residents to use.
Forty-storey towers proposed in an area without proper LRT or BRT connections: the three proposed towers would reach heights exceeding 30 and 40 storeys, with a total of 1200 units. These are figures that would normally be associated with Transit-Oriented Development, but Lansdowne Park does not have an LRT stop and Bank Street does not have Bus Rapid Transit.
The proposed affordable housing isn’t affordable housing: last year, council asked staff to include affordable housing in the proposal. Due to financial constraints, the staff report proposed 10% of units in the proposed towers be priced at “Average Market Rents”. Such a standard would not meet the standard definition of affordable: monthly rent would not exceed 30% of the gross income for those in the lowest 30% of income distribution.