Where is the line between giving and taking drawn?

News 100 redBy Staff

December 13, 2014



Here’s one for you.

ADI project - rendering from LAkeshore

Developer plans to ask city council for permission to build 28 storey structure on land zoned for 8 storeys.

In a tweet a developer said:

“This year we have supported so many deserving charities. It is imperative that we give back to the community that has given us so much.”

There are some people in the downtown core who would take issue with that tweet and suggest replacing the word “given” to “taken”.

Any guesses as to who the developer is?

Think Lakeshore and Martha.

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13 comments to Where is the line between giving and taking drawn?

  • Mr. Horrible

    Can I be Mr. Wonderful while Mr. Rusin is Penthouse Pete? I hope you share suite 2801 with about 300 people for the sake of intensification.

  • D.Duck

    Peter, tell us what you would accept for this waterfront site…………8 stories as per the zoned bylaw or the 28 stories proposed by the developer. If it is something in between then tell us what would be acceptable and what the city would get in return for changing its zoning bylaw for this property to enhance the financial gain of the developer. Please do not quote potential land- tax revenue for the city as the reason for the increased size of the building.

    • Peter Rusin

      No. I do not work for free. The councillor should have that analysis readily available and should be sharing the information with the community to justify that the chronic and politically motivated anti-development culture is in fact the better way.

      • JQ Public

        I guess that’s it folks for Mr. Rusin. He doesn’t work for free, so I suppose we’ve now seen the last of his posts. Fun while it lasted though.

        Maybe Mr. Wonderful will return when he’s on break?

      • JQ Public

        In response to your earlier comment about private citizens being abused by politicians, some people might see it oppositely – as in 175,000 private citizens being abused by politicians who sell their waterfront land off to a few.

        And yes, council is not fully transparent and accountable – they discussed the sale of this land behind closed doors (transparency?)and never did account to the public why they felt so compelled to sell.

      • Tom Muir

        Since you don’t work for free, then I guess all of the mostly personal attacks, and trash talk buffet that you have piled on here for months is, as the saying goes, worth what we paid for it – ZIP! I don’t think you are doing this developer shill act for free, but for something called “future considerations”.

        Unless you are going to offer the city, and the conversation here, more than your obviously vested self-interested and biased anything goes development cant, then please HANG UP!

  • Glenda Dodd

    Peter – What developer(s) have you worked “against”????
    Not all developers are equal, I worked for a major development company in my time and any generosity given had rewards attached and the responsibility was more in line with assuring maximum profits in return for developer investment.
    Over intensifying the downtown core is not the only way to make this City work to its full potential. Over developing the core only works for developers who have land investments there, to over populate the lakeshore core is not the only way to have the city realize full potential, industry is more important tax wise than more high rise condo’s that tax the infrastructure.
    Those who oppose the likes of the Martha street high rise condo’s are not blindly anti-development but are more in tune with the quality of the downtown core and realize that such mindless building hurts more than helps Burlington’s downtown core. There is more than enough room on the three corners of my street for condo’s and could easily fit twice if not three or four times the density that is being built at the Go station, however, the asking price of a unit in the downtown core can easily surpass that of a unit closer to Fairview. So don’t tell me your concern is for all the tax payers in Burlington, your business is that of a broker, I have checked out your Royal LePage realty web pages, I can see where your coming from. Your qualifications as a broker and in particular your specialty indicates you would know all the players. Is it not fact that the more a broker gets for his developer client the more the broker makes, I’m sure you know all the players. Someone who has your credentials as a broker has to know the who’s who of your industry and as such I can see you being on their side more than that of Joe Blow tax payer living in ALL of Burlington.
    Your right the cost of not knowing how to manage development in a responsible way costs all of us but to develop the way you propose cost dearly in quality of life and is not a responsible way, who made you the beginning and the end of all that is good. Overdevelopment cost more.
    Intensification does not equal OVER intensification of a downtown core. Over intensification of an area can cause more problems and be far more costly to
    EVERY tax payer in Burlington.

  • Peter Rusin

    I have worked for and against developers for a very long time. They are not the issue. Developers are a generous and responsible group. The issue is how to work together with developers who are, and will be an integral part in making this city work to its potential. Unfortunately we have a hostile culture in the core that is blindly anti-development which is a cost to the rest of the citizens of this city. The price of not knowing how to manage development in a responsible way costs all of us in the form of tax increases, bad economics, and bad planning results. The Meed Wardites will hurt the economy and good planning of this city. If you have the skill set to work collaboratively with the development community, the rewards to this city can be substantive. Not in Ward 2 though. It is painful to watch the continued resistance cost everybody in so many ways. Thank god we at least have the OMB, but, the OMB wont care about what could have been better achieved if it had not been for the Wardites.

    • Anthony Pullin

      I think you commented quite vigorously as “Mr. Wonderful” with regard to the Market St. waterfront situation. It wasn’t until much later that your involvement was realized. Would you care to disclose the nature of any involvement you may have with the developer of this 28 story project?
      If I have erred in the assumption that you are/were Mr. Wonderful, please correct me.

      • Peter Rusin

        I appreciate the compliment and your curious interest. The development proposal will see itself through an interesting (and expensive) planning approvals process; it is unlikely 28 will be the ultimate number, but, that is all part of the mystery for now. A big part of the equation is how to deal effectively with private property owners; developers are private property owners, and it would be of great benefit to this city to work collaboratively through the approvals process without forcing OMB involvement. The city has great staff; let’s utilize and put our trust in their talents.

        Not quite sure how the market street file is related to this development site. The market street file is somewhat disturbing if you think about how this council allowed for one rogue councillor to lead the exhaustive effort of the very public abuse of private citizens for an extended period of time. I hope the developer gets better treatment.

        • Anthony Pullin

          “The city has great staff; let’s utilize and put our trust in their talents.” Agreed. Staff recommended against the sale of Market St. waterfront. Meed Ward stuck by that recommendation. 6 “rogue” council members did not.
          It sounds like Market St. is a done deal. You have suggested previously that the land has a market value of zero. The details are secret for some bizarre reason until after the deal closes. Hopefully the City will realize some value.
          Shall we presume then, that you are involved in this development by nature of your expressed concern for the developer?

          • Peter Rusin

            My interest is in buying the penthouse Unit #2801 so I can get a nice view of the water street land sale.

            My concerns are protecting private citizens from being abused by politicians who believe political gains are theirs for the taking with impunity.

            This council is unable to function in a fully transparent and accountable manner.

  • Steve Robinson

    What Charities, exactly, and how much?