Oshawa cedes ‘air and underground rights’ at downtown parking lot to Atria Developments

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Published June 7, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Atria's proposed 'El Posto' development, downtown Oshawa

Oshawa’s Development Services Committee has declared the air and underground rights for the City-owned parking lot located between Celina and Albert Streets (at Athol Street) surplus to their needs, paving the way for Atria Developments to build a multi-storey, 318-spot parking lot on the site.

Atria, who is planning an 8-storey, 143-unit apartment building (using the existing two-storey former Canada Post building as the base of the new structure) directly to the west of the parking lot, is not providing parking in their project and will need two-thirds of those spots to create enough parking for their tenants.

The lot and its current 106 spaces are in constant demand already, leaving Atria with little choice but to build an underground lot or reach for the sky with an above-ground parkade.

The City will retain ownership of the parking spaces and will continue to operate them.

Oshawa hosted a public meeting on the subject September 13 and all affected property owners were invited to a Council meeting in February, where the feedback was “generally positive” so long as the City retained enough parking spaces for public needs.

“There is a need to save every parking space on Celina and Albert streets,” was the public consensus.

The Downtown Oshawa Business Alliance did not support the declaration of air and underground right as surplus, citing uncertainty over future parking needs and the ‘value’ of those rights.

Annual income at the lot peaked at $159,472 in 2017 but has been reduced by two-thirds ($46,193 in ’21) during the pandemic.

A monthly parking permit on city-owned lots is $73.

The Development Services Committee also approved Atria’s slightly amended main project, dubbed ‘El Posto,’ as well as a mixed-used commercial/residential property on the other side of downtown at Division Street and Kenneth Avenue.

The 12-storey Atria project will contain 213 residential units and 1,173 sq.ft. of commercial space.

Both projects required zoning amendments.

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