Windsor Ontario News / Buildings, Homes & Real Estate

Chatham Street West buildings were "terrible .... just junk" - developer August 16 2018

There is now a price on the purchase of two former long time downtown restaurant properties, sold to a local development group, and which used to be part of a kind of restaurant row.

The former City Beer Market and adjacent Chatham Street Grill buildings have been sold for a combined $2.4 million to a numbered company known as the St. Clair Rhodes Corp.

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Buyer of Huron Church building must conform to green gateway standards July 24 2018

The purchaser of the former Ontario tourist bureau on Huron Church Rd. is keeping mum about who they are and what plans they have for the building. (See June 26/18 story below right column.)

The sale closed over the past month.

Infrastructure Ontario spokesman Jeff Giffen also couldn’t disclose the purchase price.

“We generally don’t announce those because it could impact our ability (on) future sales to get the best value,” he said.

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Windsor complies with asbestos orders following a city worker's illness June 19 2018

The City of Windsor is compling with three orders from the Ministry of Labour after a city staffer developed health problems related to asbestos.

This was a skin rash the worker reported on her neck and arms following work involving cutting, removing and replacing old ceiling tiles at several city-owned buildings.

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St. Anne Arms apartments adds an urban feel to the heart of Tecumseh May 4 2018

St. Anne Arms is a rather unique development in the heart of Tecumseh, a project the likes of which the town hasn’t seen in quite some time if ever.

The two buildings 12-unit apartment complex - six units per building - is under construction on Lesperance Rd. across from St. Anne Church near the corner of Tecumseh Rd. E.

John Sapardanis of Re/Max Preferred Realty describes the project as a “quaint little complex.”

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Aged Ouellette building had ballroom, bowling alley, swimming pool October 5 2017

The new Windsor Centre for Film, Digital Media & The Creative Arts inherits a fascinating piece of Windsor’s building history.

The red brick building on the west side of Ouellette just south of Wyandotte Street used to contain a ballroom, swimming pool and a bowling alley.

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A "Flex Space" first for Ouellette Avenue businesses and public spaces August 25 2017

It’s called Flex Space.

For perhaps the first times in Ontario – and definitely the first time in Windsor – a major sidewalk in a business neighbourhood is being reimagined as both a park-like gathering space and a traditional pedestrian thoroughfare.

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Timberland's LaSalle development shows townhomes can be high end too July 12 2017

Timberland Homes, perhaps the area’s leading custom home builder, tapped a new market last year when it began construction of a town homes neighborhood at The Villas at Forest Trail.

Timberland is known for its striking and tasteful stand alone homes, which can price at more than one million dollars and range from 3000 to 5000 square feet.

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Kingsville's latest condo complex has panoramic park and Lake Erie views May 24 2017

Lakeshore continues to attract major condominium projects, the latest being situated in perhaps the town’s most prime location – alongside Lakeside Park and Lake Erie.

It’s called Lakeside Park Place Condominiums, a 39-unit, six storey building (five stories of suites and a top-level deck with surrounding panoramic views), with construction slated for late summer and to be completed towards the end of 2018.

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Telecommuting, better PR, could make Windsor more of a Toronto “suburb” April 11 2017

Windsor may be too far away from Toronto to feel the spill over from that region’s skyrocketing house prices.

Or is it?

With today’s technology, and a little better PR, the city could end up being the destination for more and more housing refugees – people priced out of the GTA because of homes topping $900,000.

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City's heritage ads cost thousands March 27 2017

The cost of placing four ads in The Windsor Star informing of the City of Windsor’s “intention to designate” four properties for heritage purposes this past Saturday was $2,879.24.

An additional notice informing of a recently passed bylaw to officially designate another property cost $481.38.

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City's most prestigious office building using address signs to market space February 22 2017

One Riverside Dr., the city’s most prestigious business address, has decided to market its vacant office space by advertising its current tenants on new sidewalk signs.

The tower, which most people know as Fiat Chrysler headquarters or the Canderel Building (a previous owner), has long had problems filling the 14-storey edifice with tenants.

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Blockbuster condo complex proposed for Kingsville's "new downtown" January 19 2017

A major nine storey upscale commercial and condo building would transform part of Kingsville and add high density to a developing commercial district east of the downtown core.

Known as Kings' Villa Condos, local developer Joe Moavro is still seeking town approval and a second Planning Advisory Committee meeting is soon to take place, the first being held late last year.

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Sportsplex subdivision expected to draw active families to the burg Sept. 14 2016

You’ve heard of subdivisions bordering golf courses.

But this new subdivision will be across the street from a major athletic complex.

Amherstburg’s Nor-Built construction has received the green light to go ahead with a 150 residential housing development located diagonally across from the town’s Libro Credit Union Centre, one of the county’s most sophisticated sportsplexes.

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City waives development fees, but would tax holiday be more effective? August 9 2016

City council decided last week to waive development fees for the central city to encourage residential development and prevent continuing hollowing out of the area north of Tecumseh Road and between the far west side and Pillette Road.

But will waiving development fees – which could amount to perhaps as much as $20,000 saving to construct a detached single family home – be enough to spur construction?

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Rooftop solar panels losing stigma June 22 2016

The stigma, if ever there was one, doesn’t seem to exist that much anymore.

More and more people seem to be installing solar roof panels on their houses.

The company that spearheaded residential solar panel installations in Windsor is Unconquered Sun, which has now installed “close to 500” sets of panels, the owner says.

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Eye-popping GTA prices here? Sometimes it might seem that way May 1 2016

$725,000, $619,900, $689,900, $899,900, $599,900, $949,900, $799,000.

How about $1,199,000, $1.2 million, $2,295,000, $2,475,000?

Sometimes, scanning the real estate advertisements, you might be forgiven for thinking that prices in Windsor-Essex are reaching those in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

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DT depot plans on hold as much as ever

The conversion of the former downtown Greyhound bus deposit, one of four parts of a new $32.6 million Windsor downtown mini creative arts campus, is still on hold, after the university suspended plans for redevelopment because of poor sub-soil conditions. “The status on the former bus terminal building has not changed and there is no new information available as yet on its redevelopment,” university spokeswoman Lori Lewis says. The plan was to convert the 1940 building for classrooms but that was shifted to the former Tunnel BBQ building across the street. There was also talk of having it be a campus social hub. Other than some slight exterior work last year the building is as abandoned as ever but with huge gray university logos over its former picture windows. The problem was that, after acquiring the property, the university was informed that demolishing most of the structure – other than the University Ave. façade – and doubling the size to 15,000 sq. ft., wouldn’t be feasible. That’s because the building sits atop the Windsor-Detroit tunnel and excavation and additional weight from an expanded building could damage the underground tube. – 16/7/18

Pending ... pending

A Sold sign has finally been stuck on the CBRE listed property that used to house the Ontario tourism office on Huron Church Rd. But the final sale still hasn’t gone through, according to Jeff Giffen of Infrastructure Ontario’s real estate and lending division. It’s “not 100 per cent final,” he said, alluding to a closing date. The property was listed in 2013 after a year’s extension to a planned closure in 2012. Local officials persuaded the province to keep the bureau open at Canada’s busiest border crossing. The province had decided to close the office to save money at the same time it had created a tourist office in the then new ONroute service centre in Tilbury. Giffen said no exact value was put on the 1.3-acre property with a 3600 sq. ft. building. Instead Infrastructure Ontario opened bidding in a “competitive process.” Stay tuned. – 6/26/18

Drive - thru resto at A'burg Sobeys site?

The Town of Amherstburg is holding a public meeting to consider a rezoning change to allow fast food operations on the current Sobeys store site in Amherstburg. The land in question is identified as 83 Sandwich St S., the same address as Sobeys. Windsor’s Mikhail Holdings developed the site and a faded billboard advertises “Will Build to Suit, Prime Retail Space Available” adjacent to the Sobeys store. Specifically, says the town planning dept., the zoning change would be “to maximize the usage of the site and allow for a drive-through restaurant on the subject property.” The meeting will be May 10, 5 pm at council chambers. – 1/5/18

Hydrants glow in the day and in the night

Motorists driving along local roads may have noticed something new in recent weeks – circular blue reflectors around the side arms of fire hydrants. LaSalle’s Front Road is a good place to see them. Fire chief Dave Sutton says the rings “have recently become available” and are a “cost-effective alternate to painting required colours on the hydrant.” The rings “are highly visible in daytime & night time conditions which also assists in locating hydrants quickly in emergencies.” Sutton said the local public works department, which manages the water system, “has begun installing the discs on a phased in approach over several years.” – 16/8/17

Developer scouting heritage building

Fresh from buying and in the process of restoring the more than 100-year-old Walker Power Building along Riverside Dr. E., engineer Piero Aleo (pictured inside that structure) says he’s “interested” in a similar redevelopment of the Lufkin Rule building on Caron Ave. “I have been speaking to Chris Holt about the building. We are interested to look at it,” Aleo said. “The location is less than ideal and that’s what concerns me.” The city wants to demolish the 1904 building. That’s been put on hold for six months while the city tries to sell the abandoned structure, about which it has structural safety concerns. The city took ownership of the once private building, which housed various businesses, in 2012. Councillor Chris Holt said it was ironic the city has let the building rot in place. It’s on the city’s heritage register. - 11/5/17

Rent controls would kill budding new apt market - economist

High profile Canadian bank analyst Benjamin Tal (left) says the worst thing the province could do to kill a budding apartment construction industry is bring back rent controls, which don’t exist for new buildings. Tal, CIBC’s deputy chief economist, was reacting to a call to reintroduce the controls because of a more than 10 per cent average rent increase in Toronto last year due to the shift in apartment construction because of the city’s overheated housing market. Some 5000 new apartment units are about to hit the market with 28,000 proposed. Tal said some developers are already cancelling projects. “Even the very mention of rental control as an option is having a chilling effect on developers,” the Financial Post quoted Tal as saying. “From recent discussions with developers we know that it’s already impacting decisions.” – 7/4/17

New Ouellette health centre has wow factor

A new medical landmark is taking shape on Ouellette Avenue but the doctors involved in the clinical practice aren’t interested in talking about it. Requests by to obtain comment from physicians at the Smile and Body clinic were turned down. According to the clinic’s website there are four physicians practicing as aesthetics doctors including Chris Blue and Herman Kupeyan. The clinic provides dentistry and implant dentistry, facelifts, acne scar-removal and neck lifts. If aesthetics is the name of the game the doctors surely will have a spectacular new building that symbolizes it, full of different levels and lots of glass. The office at 1083 Ouellette (aka Ouellette Health Centre) at the corner of Pine St. has been temporarily moved while the centre, originally a large older house, gets the makeover, enveloped by the new construction. Keystone General Contractors of Windsor, whose portfolio includes Lighting Boutique on Walker and Leopards Lounge on Wyandotte St., got the commission. – 21/2/17

Old - not heritage - garage, coming down

An old garage that makes up part of a piece of land for a new Sandwich Towne library will be torn down. But other older buildings on the site, including a horse stable, will remain in place when the new John Muir Public Library starts construction, likely this spring. The three door garage has no significant value, according to a city report. “It is a minor property feature, less than half the size of the adjacent stable,” it says. “This garage structure has a hodgepodge of concrete block ... and in some areas severely deteriorated.” Once demolished the area will be landscaped. The new library will incorporate “adaptive reuse” of the fire hall, fronting on Mill Street, as well as the stable located between the hall and garage. City project manager Joe Dattilo said “designated substances” like asbestos and lead will have to be removed. The city is receiving proposals for prequalification from contractors. Tenders will go out this spring. The new building will link the fire hall and stable, separated by about 30 ft. Parking will be located where a gravel lot now exists. John Muir was a former local principal and tireless advocate for a Sandwich library. He died in July. Up to now the library has shared space with General Brock Public School. – 5/1/17