On July 9, 2009, Ajax Council authorized the strategic acquisition of land at the southwest corner of Bayly Street and Harwood Avenue, as a critical step in advancing the development of a vibrant Downtown for Ajax. The site is of singular importance due to:
- its locations as a focal point and gateway for the Downtown;
- the opportunities it provides for development next to existing public facilities;
- its ability to provide for a meaningful urban public place that symbolizes a true Downtown for Ajax;
- its ability to accommodate appropriate development on a highly visible, vacant site in the centre of the Downtown as a model for Downtown redevelopment initiatives; and,
- the Town’s ability to acquire the site under the CIP program which provides the Town the ability to directly control the format, program and outcome of new development in a manner that positively responds to a critical gap in the Downtown urban structure.
Medallion Developments (Bayly Square) Limited received site plan approval in the summer of 2012 for the first phase of a comprehensive three phase development including approximately 1,750 residential units, offices, retail space, public space and a new civic square.
The development will establish an intensive, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented district, with an economically viable retail uses.
A key Gateway Site will be developed with landmark buildings that present front façades and primary pedestrian entranceways to the street, and a distinct high quality urban square. Surface parking, loading and service areas would be limited. The proposal will be consistent with Ajax’s ecosystem-based approach including the use of ‘green’ technologies. A grid pattern of closely spaced streets will be provided to enhance pedestrian and vehicular connectivity. Pedestrian/bicycle travel and public transit will occur by way of a safe and connected network of sidewalks, walkways, urban squares and gathering spaces connected to public sidewalks. The development will accommodate households of varied ages, incomes and demographic composition.
- The Town is expected to net approximately $36.5 million in tax revenue over the next 40 years as a result of the development. From 2013 to 2026, total Ajax property taxes net of CIP incentives are estimated at $9.5 million (20% of the total property taxes payable). From 2026 onward, Ajax property taxes from the site are estimated to be $1.4 million per year.
- In addition to the property taxes, other benefits total $2.3 million worth of park land for Pat Bayly Square as well as public parking spaces, indoor public space and the extension of Kitney Drive.
- The total financial benefit to the Region of Durham over the next 40 years is approximately $135 million. The Region of Durham will receive $17 million in development charges for construction of infrastructure, and approximately $120 million in property taxes.
- The development will create over 200 jobs, approximately 107 spin-off jobs in the Downtown core, and approximately 20 jobs will be generated to service the residential component.
- Total population at build out is estimated at 3,200 persons. It is projected that residents of the development will spend about $71.6 million on goods and services each year in Ajax, totaling $2 billion by 2053.
- Direct and indirect construction-related employment will earn almost $126 million in wages and salaries.
- Estimated cost of construction is $280-$300 million.
- The total Town, Region and Community financial benefit combined is approximately $2.6 billion by 2053.