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Rose
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Arena Updates
« on: Aug 7th, 2012, 2:06pm »
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Just announced!
 
Q&A Media Session with Mayor Scarpitti and Graeme Roustan.
 
When: Wednesday, 11 a.m. - City of Markham - Great Hall
Capacity: 200 people
 
Once again Markham, here is your chance to find out what's going on with this project.  During the day of course.  This is a surprise to the Councillors on the Arena Committee.
 
At the last meeting, Mayor Scarpitti assured me that  tax payers dollars will not pay for this project.
 
However, there are substantial costs with this project.
 
Parking Structure $100 Million
407 Transit Way   $200 Million
Road Improvements $80 - $100 Million
 
We lose Development Charges of $20 Million, HST 42.5 Million, Property Taxes of $100 Million over 20 years.
 
60% of the attendees are expected to come south of Markham, negotiations are in place with Go Train to bring attendees from Union Station directly to the event, Transit options are being developed for attendees west and north of Markham.  Parking fees are suggested to start at $25 because the City cannot accommodate 20,000 cars at an event.  The Arena is anticipated to bring lots of jobs and boost the Markham economy even higher.  Hotels and Businesses will benefit BUT what's in it for the regular Markham mortgage paying resident who doesn't have a business? If this project fails what happens then?
« Last Edit: Aug 23rd, 2012, 11:00pm by Rose » IP Logged
cplau
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #1 on: Aug 7th, 2012, 6:07pm »
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Everyone that I know are working out of Town, we need to develop more quality good paying jobs in Markham?  What kind of job opportunities do we have here?  I can't support the house price if I only work in Bestbuy/Futureshop.  We need to build a finance districts that's able to lure the big firms and create jobs in Markham.
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Rose
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #2 on: Aug 7th, 2012, 8:10pm »
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Very good question - At the last meeting the Mayor said it would bring more jobs to the area such as several arena jobs.  When someone mentioned that they would be low-paying jobs the Mayor responded that people have different circumstances and some people are looking for part-time jobs.  Until the business plan is revealed to us we really won't know what the plan is UNLESS we get out there and start asking questions or at least email our Councillors and tell them to get back to us with specific answers.  The Councillors that are asking the detailed questions are Jim Jones, Jack Heath, Joe Li and Don Hamilton.
 
Here is the actual press release -- see below.  

 
 
Media Briefing and Photo Opportunity
WHAT:       GTA Sports and Entertainment (GTASE) Chairman and CEO, W. Graeme Roustan, on behalf of GTA Centre LP, will submit the GTA Centre Site Plan Application (SPA) to the City of Markham on Wednesday, August 8. An important milestone in the process of the development, the SPA will allow the City of Markham to examine the design, the plans’ sustainability and the technical aspects of the proposed GTA Centre facility. Once Site Plan Application Approval is obtained, a building permit will be issued and construction can begin on the $325 million venue.
       Photo opportunity & Q&A with the Mayor and W. Graeme Roustan
       New GTA Centre renderings will be unveiled
 
WHO:    Mayor Frank Scarpitti, City of Markham
       W. Graeme Roustan, Chairman and CEO, GTA Sports and Entertainment
WHEN:       Wednesday, August 8, 2012
       11:00 am
WHERE:     Markham Civic Centre
       101 Town Centre Boulevard, Markham
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #3 on: Aug 7th, 2012, 11:01pm »
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Personally I am very excited about this arena in Markham
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Rose
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #4 on: Aug 10th, 2012, 12:36am »
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I like the idea of an Arena also but have attended a couple of the meetings and have some concerns.  Most people who love this idea haven't attended any scheduled meetings.
 
Will homeowners be ok with increased property taxes if this joint deal doesn't work out?
 
I'm just suggesting that the community get involved, understand the financing to determine what the costs will be to each homeowner.  Just the same as we would if purchasing our own properties.  We wouldn't purchase a home without reviewing the financing when we will be responsible for the payments.
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Rose
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #5 on: Aug 10th, 2012, 12:02pm »
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A proposed 20,000-seat arena in Markham took another step forward after a group of private investors submitted a site plan application to the City of Markham Wednesday.
 
GTA Sports and Entertainment chairman Graeme Roustan presented the GTA Centre LP’s application for the proposed $325-million project to Mayor Frank Scarpitti at the Markham Civic Centre on Wednesday.
 
“We’re excited to submit the site plan application … because it means we’re one step closer to getting final approval and putting shovels in the ground,” Mr. Roustan said.
 
The building, like all those in Markham Centre, will be LEED certified, meaning it meets energy and environmental standards.
 
“I’m very pleased with GTA Sports and Entertainment and their team of consultants,” Mr. Scarpitti said. “It’s one thing to do [LEED Certification] with an office tower or condo building or a smaller building, but a 20,000-seat arena is a real challenge.”
 
If approved, the multipurpose arena will feature concerts and sporting events and Mr. Roustan continues to say the arena will function without a National Hockey League team.
 
Not everyone is convinced the plan is as solid as Mr. Roustan claims.
 
Markham councillor Jim Jones fears the group’s financial plan will put an unnecessary burden on new home and condominium owners.
 
“I don’t think future home owners should be on the hook to finance this facility,” Mr. Jones said. “It is the problem and the responsibility of the private sector and they’ve had plenty of time to get other investors.”
 
The City of Markham has proposed a special levy between $2,000 and $6,500 be placed on new development in the area.
 
As one of only three areas open to development in Green Belt in York Region — Vaughan and East Gwillimbury are the others — Markham should expect development to increase over the next 19 years, said Deputy Mayor Jack Heath.
 
Construction for Markham Centre is an ongoing project but Mr. Roustan predicts the area will be ripe with development ahead of the arena opening. The Markham Centre project has been ongoing since 1992.
 
In addition to the levy, Mr. Roustan cited other sources of revenue, including the GTA Centre lease, a ticket surcharge, parking revenue and tax increment financing.[b] But even the group’s own consultant review showed that new facilities in North America over the last 30 years did not generate significant economic benefits for cities.[b]
 
Opponents have also criticized the apparent lack of parking at the proposed arena. Even Markham City councillors who support the venue wonder if the allotted 4,400 parking spots will be enough.
 
“We have to make sure there’s enough parking available for people who attend the events,” Mr. Heath said.
 
Toronto’s Air Canada Centre has 13,000 public parking spaces within walking distance and two levels of parking at the venue, but due to its central location, upwards of 50% to 80% of attendees take public transit. The GTA Centre will be located near the Unionville GO station.
 
Location, transit and potential space means local concert and event promoters will keep a close eye on the arena.
 
Event organizer Francine Socket said the event industry’s main priority is whether a venue suits a client’s needs and offers something unique.
 
“Clients always want to do something new,” Ms. Socket said.
 
Other event organizers stressed the importance of hotels, restaurants and transportation and are hopeful the Markham Centre project will include the necessary amenities.
 
Mr. Roustan said the venue’s location is one of its main selling points.
 
“I had dinner last night with gentleman living in Aurora who said he never goes to an ACC [Air Canada Centre] event because of where it is. It’s impractical for him,” Mr. Roustan said, adding that having two large venues will enable the city to hold more shows each year.
 
Markham Development Services and Planning Committee will review and fine-tune the plan and financial framework before a final vote before council. Mr. Heath has also requested at least one more public meeting.
 
Mr. Roustan predicted the centre would open by October 2014 but Mr. Heath said that date is “fading away.” He does, however, think the venue will be ready in time to potentially host the World Junior Hockey Tournament in 2015.
 
National Post
 
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/08/09/investors-submit-plan-for-325m-2 0000-seat-markham-arena/
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #6 on: Aug 10th, 2012, 3:30pm »
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Here's what it boils down to for me:
 
They can go on all they want about saying that it's not coming at the expense of taxpayers and will be paid by future development charges as well as event revenues.  However, IF (and IMO, it's not "if" but more like "when") they are not able to get a sustainable number of events that draw people, who will pay for that portion of the cost?  Lemme guess...it's not Graeme Roustan, it's not Frank Scarpitti...These people need to put their money where their mouth is.  If they have a shortfall, they should personally put up the money.
 
It never ceases to amaze me how dillusional politicians continue to be.  80-90% of the people that attend the events will be driving.  Book it.  Public transit in Markham *****.  How do they expect people from Markham/Unionville to get there?
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #7 on: Aug 10th, 2012, 3:57pm »
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Actually traffics is my most concern.  If you have drove on the Enterprise road, you will notice how narrow it is.  Markham is not a World Class City yet, I don't understand why do we need a World Class Stadium at all of a sudden without a mass transit system to reduce the traffics.  I've been living in Markham for almost 20 yrs.  We've built a lot of residential area but I've never seen an improvement on the local traffics.  The traffics is getting worse everyday with more and more hi dense residential build along Hwy 7, but we never had a plan to widen hwy7, Kennedy and Warden.  What da heck is our cousillor doing everyday?
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #8 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 9:16am »
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on Aug 10th, 2012, 3:57pm, cplau wrote:
Actually traffics is my most concern.  If you have drove on the Enterprise road, you will notice how narrow it is.  Markham is not a World Class City yet, I don't understand why do we need a World Class Stadium at all of a sudden without a mass transit system to reduce the traffics.  I've been living in Markham for almost 20 yrs.  We've built a lot of residential area but I've never seen an improvement on the local traffics.  The traffics is getting worse everyday with more and more hi dense residential build along Hwy 7, but we never had a plan to widen hwy7, Kennedy and Warden.  What da heck is our cousillor doing everyday?

 
Agreed with the issues regarding traffic in Markham. Instead of widening the roads, all they do is lower the speed limits (eg: 16th Ave) to make things even worst. Wait til Upper Unionville is built, things will get even worst.
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #9 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 1:36pm »
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on Aug 13th, 2012, 9:16am, meowiejuie wrote:

 
Agreed with the issues regarding traffic in Markham. Instead of widening the roads, all they do is lower the speed limits (eg: 16th Ave) to make things even worst. Wait til Upper Unionville is built, things will get even worst.

 
Totally agree.  It's going to be terrible.  16th is already worse than Hwy 7 IMO.  I've talked with urban planner friends and actually widening the roads don't really fix the problem.  It's a temporary relief until we get enough cars to make it a problem again  Undecided
 
We really do need a legit public transit solution to get people OUT of the cars and to the desired destination.  Will be really interesting to see how Hwy 7 does with the same # of car lanes plus the transit lanes down the middle!!
 
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #10 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 1:57pm »
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Latest on the internet (letter to editor of the Markham Economist and Sun)  
 
"It’s interesting that Markham chose to hold a public meeting on the GTA mega-rink during the peak summer vacation period when many residents were out of town.  
 
However, I guess that should come as no surprise, considering the formal decision to burden Markham taxpayers with a $350-million loan was, for all intents and purposes, made behind closed doors.  
 
After previously being told the private consortium would be putting up 50 per cent of the cost of the development, we now learn Markham taxpayers will actually be holding the bag for the full $350-million debt with the consortium only agreeing to pay back its share over an as-yet-unspecified time period — provided, of course, the consortium never encounters financial problems in future that could cause it to default or renege on terms of agreement. "
 
If this is true then it also sounds like we, as tax payers, will be on the hook for any cost over-runs from the construction process.  The Skydome was at least twice the cost originaly estimated.  
 
This Arena is not sounding like such a good idea anymore.
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #11 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 4:51pm »
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The problem with traffic goes back to the design of suburbia.  Compare downtown Toronto with it's grid streets that allow you many alternatives in any direction to the segregated neighbourhoods in suburbia with very few through streets.  Add to that the the 407 which limits North/South access even further and you end up with slow traffic with no recourse.
 
Transit will help but most of Markham can't support transit yet and some places will never be able to support it due to the endless number of cul de sacs and courts (just too far to walk to a major street).  I am surprised that cities/towns have have not stopped builders from developing cul-de-sacs, courts, Crescents, etc. except in special circumstances.
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #12 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 8:52pm »
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Thank you, Steve.  
 
** Praying that Steve gets a job at city council to knock some sense into the delusional idiots that work there **
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #13 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 8:57pm »
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on Aug 13th, 2012, 8:52pm, SW20_MR2 wrote:
Thank you, Steve.  
 
** Praying that Steve gets a job at city council to knock some sense into the delusional idiots that work there **  

 
Here here! And amen to that! He'd get my support!! Cheesy
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Re: Arena Press Release to Media - Q&A Wed Aug
« Reply #14 on: Aug 13th, 2012, 11:18pm »
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on Aug 13th, 2012, 8:57pm, Shaun_C wrote:

 
Here here! And amen to that! He'd get my support!! Cheesy

Same here, I would agree to that!
 
I'm still puzzled by how the Viva Next will help the current traffic congestion. Also why are they putting the stops in the middle of the road on  hwy 7 and these are not street cars?  
 
I would say traffic issues are of more concern for many that's why I don't understand why the mayor has propelled the Arena application as priority #1 for the city. Although personally I'm not against it the Arena, I believe the city has other things to address that should be of higher importance.
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