The final tally for the Weston Cultural Hub has been released. City staff say they have a “unique funding approach”. The city, province, and developer are contributing $10.2 million toward the Hub’s building costs. A further $3 million will be set aside for operations.
In short, instead of paying fees for parks, recreation, and general community benefits, Rockport will be retaining the money for the Artscape Hub. Other money will come from the city, province, and the federal government.
When developers break density or height rules in Toronto, they pay into “Section 37“. Rockport, in this case, is retaining the $1,600,000 they would normally have paid.
Other sources of money include
- $4 million from from the feds and the province for affordable housing for the artists
- $2 million from the sale of the parking lot
- $1.2 million in forgone Parks and Rec development charges
- $750,000 from Rockport
- $500,000 uncollected for parks
- A $500,000 grant from the Parks department
Some interesting facts are also in the report.
- It looks to me like the live-work spaces and the Hub will not pay property tax or school levies.
- Council earlier approved $1.6 million to expropriate 14 John Street, a long-vacant lot. Another $1 million is being set aside, I think, for compensation and remediation.
Artscape hopes to start with about $3 million in the bank because the Hub will lose money. Rockport will contribute $1.25 million of this reserve, and Artscape is hoping to fundraise $1.75 million to cover the balance. After 15 years, the “City [may] be required to consider subsidizing operating costs”.
You and yours will be able to rent the Hub cheaply “for selected activities”, at a discount if you are part of a non-profit, or for the full rate for private events. Whatever you pay, you’ll be getting a deal, because revenues won’t cover costs. Artscape says the business plan shows them losing roughly $200,000 a year.