Developers are rushing to keep pace with housing demand across Windsor-Essex, and a drive along Tecumseh’s main drag is a quick indication that a condo boom is underway in the municipality.
“In the previous five years, things were a little bit slow in our municipality, but the census is certainly not picking up on all this activity that’s happening right now,” says Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara, who says at this very moment, 1,000 condo units are currently under construction in town.
On Tecumseh Road alone, roughly 400 units are currently going up, including Valente Development’s Gateway Tower, which will soon boast 99 rental units. In partnership with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Commission, 33 per cent of the units will be considered affordable housing.
“It’s kind of a hybrid between a market rent project and an affordable rent project, which I’m very proud to bring to the Town of Tecumseh,” says Peter Valente of Valente Development and Real Estate.
Mayor McNamara attributes the boom to a combination of market conditions like housing demand and profitability, which has led to a migration of retirees from the Greater Toronto Area.
“As soon as COVID hit, we had a lull, then all of the sudden, things took off like a rocket ship,” says Valente. “There’s just been so much investor interest.”
The mayor also credits the town’s community improvement plan, designed to refresh the downtown through intensification and making it a more walkable community.
“We had to create an atmosphere to say look, we need help, help us revitalize this area, and we’ll grant you opportunities to do that,” says McNamara.
To date, McNamara tells CTV Windsor the town has granted $700,000 in tax breaks to developers to get shovels in the ground.
The spin-off, says McNamara, is more investment in neighbouring commercial spaces.
“You can see the business community is seeing that we’re bringing people into the area so it makes sense to establish a business,” he says.
Mayor McNamara expects the same volume of new builds over the next two to three years to match the growing demand for housing — which he believes will help give the downtown a more urban flavour over time.
“You’re going to start seeing that transformation finally taking place,” McNamara says.
02/23/2022 – Condo boom underway in Town of Tecumseh CTV News Windsor – Rich Garton