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Costco (42-46 Overlea Boulevard) Demolition of Heritage Building, Former Coca-Cola HQ

SweetWater

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Gas Station question:
Does anyone know if the Costco plans for a multi-bay gas station have been approved?

As to the actual store, what has been the holdup? As people have already noted, the office building has been incorporated into the plan since last year at least.
 

sunnyraytoronto

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Good thinking, but that would also involve luring them from a suburban Ottawa locale to a semi-urban Toronto one.
No doubt,... those Costco head office staff would want to stay in Ottawa,... after all, unlike Toronto,... Ottawa has a real NHL hockey team! ;P
 

WislaHD

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Received an email from Jon Burnside:

Dear Ward 26 Resident,

Yesterday at North York Community Council the Costco application for 42-46 Overlea Blvd. was rejected on a tie vote (3-3). Although The City Planning Department had recommended its approval, the application will now go to the entire Toronto City Council for consideration "Without Recommendation" on November 10.

There were a number of deputations regarding the application and of those opposed, traffic was a major concern. I share this concern and have serious misgivings not only with the methodology and quality of the traffic report, but our own Transportation Department's unreasonably high threshold for rejecting an application based on a projected increase in traffic volumes.

This is somewhat of an unusual situation in that opinions were strongly divided with a majority of Thorncliffe residents in favour of the application.

As I have mentioned previously, I believe the perfect solution would be a Costco without the gas bar but City Staff did not make this recommendation and thus it was not something Costco would agree to.

One of the biggest challenges we have in opposing developments based on traffic concerns is that the developer always has a favourable traffic study. While this situation has gone on for years, there seems to have been little effort to hold the traffic consultants accountable. This is exactly what I tried to do with one of the three amendments I proposed.

Recognizing that without our own City Staff's support a fight at the OMB is extremely difficult to win, I recommend the following additions/changes to the report:

1) Reduce the number of gas pumps from 18 to 12.
2) Costco conduct a follow up traffic study one year after store opening and pay for any mitigation efforts if their study underestimated traffic volumes.
3) Specify number of Thorncliffe residents hired by Costco.

Additionally, Costco had agreed to a voluntary payment of $650,000 to be used for community benefits in Thorncliffe.

I ultimately felt that this was the best deal possible under the circumstances and that the risk of losing these concessions by forcing the developer to the OMB was not the proper course of action -- especially since Ward 26 residents' opinions were mixed.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to voice your opinion.

Sincerely,
Jon Burnside
 

ChopstickHero

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COSTCO ON OVERLEA APPROVED.

Published on a condo message board:

Dear Ward 26 Resident,

The last item on Council's November agenda was the rezoning of 42 - 46 Overlea Blvd. which WOULD accommodate the construction of a Costco Warehouse store.

While opinions regarding a Costco store at this location are decidedly mixed, the most difficult obstacle I faced during negotiations was the City Planning Department's positive staff report -- including approval of an 18-pump gas bar. Reviewing the outcomes over the past five years, the city has never won a rezoning battle at the OMB when a positive staff report was issued.

Although Costco did agree to reduce the number of pumps from 18 to 12, I continued to negotiate until late last week. The gas bar has always been my major concern due to its consequence of increased traffic.

I am extremely happy to report that I negotiated a deferral of any decision regarding the gas bar so it will not be built at this time. If Costco wants to add a gas bar in the future, it would have to be considered by Council again.

Here is the summary of Council's approval (21 - 7) of the negotiated settlement:

1) Costco store approved.
2) Gas bar deferred. Future consideration would only be given after a new Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) is completed. This new TIA would be a year-long study that can only commence a minimum of six months after store opening. This is an essential component as the new TIA would incorporate data of actual traffic generated by the Costco at THIS location as opposed to speculative numbers based on locations elsewhere.

There is a 20 day period of appeal whereby anyone can elect to go to the OMB. Once this period is over I will be able to provide a general estimate of timelines.

Sincerely,

Jon Burnside
City Councillor | Ward 26 - Don Valley West
Toronto City Hall | 100 Queen Street West Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
T: 416-392-0215
 

Tuscani01

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I think it is a perfect compromise: Costco + no gas bar. Their gas bars are notorious for huge lines and would definitely increase the amount of traffic in the neighbourhood.
 

ChopstickHero

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I think it is a perfect compromise: Costco + no gas bar. Their gas bars are notorious for huge lines and would definitely increase the amount of traffic in the neighbourhood.
Agreed. I live on Overlea and don't mind a Costco being put there (I think it'll be good for the area) but the gas bar would definitely attract a lot of unwanted traffic. Just look at the traffic trying to get to the gas bar at the Costco on Warden... insane!
 

Armour

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The Coca Cola building is still going to be butchered. It should be preserved in its entirety, with the Costco built around it. Parking could be placed underground.
 

interchange42

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I have a friend who worked in the Coca Cola building for years, and the word was that everyone who worked there hated the building.

If it was ill-suited to Coca Cola's needs in recent times, the building would not likely be suited to most modern businesses. That may be an inconvenient truth, but heritage buildings will only survive in instances where they can be adapted to work today: no-one's willing to foot the bill to maintain buildings that don't function as needed. I'm glad the facade is staying, but the interior would have had to have been exceptional for it to be saved.

42
 

Armour

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I have a friend who worked in the Coca Cola building for years, and the word was that everyone who worked there hated the building.

If it was ill-suited to Coca Cola's needs in recent times, the building would not likely be suited to most modern businesses. That may be an inconvenient truth, but heritage buildings will only survive in instances where they can be adapted to work today: no-one's willing to foot the bill to maintain buildings that don't function as needed. I'm glad the facade is staying, but the interior would have had to have been exceptional for it to be saved.

42
I wasn't referring to the interior. I meant that the entire exterior should remain untouched. The drawings show that the Costco will cut into the east wall of the building. This is unacceptable and will ruin its profile. It would have been better to either connect the Costco to the Coca Cola building via a rear connecting arm of some sort -- or better yet -- build the Costco around the existing building, without making any modifications to it.
 

gregv

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Local website The Bayview Bulldog reports that City Council has approved the new Costco. Gas Bar was not approved and requires traffic studies after store has been open 6 months.
www.bayview-news.com/2015/11/city-council-approves-costco-on-overlea-without-a-gas-bar.html/
A local resident and two businesses have appealed the city decision to the OMB which could cause a delay of 18 months.
Also, Costco likely to appeal the gas bar decision deferral.

As read here:
http://www.bayview-news.com/2016/02/asian-supermarket-heritage-funeral-home-oppose-costco.html/
http://www.bayview-news.com/2016/02/costco-deal-close-to-collapse-as-neighbors-appeal-to-omb.html/
 

LNahid2000

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Seems like Iqbal Halal Foods just doesn't want any competition. Costco is known for catering to the local market and they'd likely have a halal food section (like the Downsview location has a Kosher section).
 

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