The City Kenora has finalized an agreement for a land swap with Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’Iyewigamig (WNHAC) in the area of Chipman Street and First Street South.
The land swap is a strategic move in the long term planning of the City’s vision for our downtown. A portion of the parcel of land purchased by the City in January 2017 from Plaza Retail REIT, has been traded for a similar sized parcel owned by WNHAC where the Kenwood Hotel once stood. Each party exchanged a sum of $125,000 plus HST in the property transaction, essentially being no cost for the property swap.
With the City of Kenora’s purchase of the former mall property for parking and future development potential, an opportunity emerged to access a larger, rectangular lot that could better accommodate the new WNHAC building, current parking requirements, and future expansion potential. “The City has been very supportive of our efforts,” said WNHAC Executive Director, Anita Cameron.
Megan Dokuchie, the City’s Economic Development Officer states “This is an exciting and strategic land swap which places the City in a solid position to consider future redevelopment and realignment of our downtown area. As we continue to work hard towards the redevelopment in our downtown, this area could see positive improvements to traffic and pedestrian flow, promoting a flourishing downtown area”.
The land swap supports the next phase of downtown revitalization, including the proposed realignment of First Street South through the former Shoppers Mall property that was purchased by the City last year, and provides the opportunity for further enhancement of our downtown and Harbourtown Centre. Funding opportunities are currently being pursued by administration and long term realignment visions are being finalized.
The City of Kenora has submitted funding applications to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) for Downtown Revitalization Phase IV.