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City wants land swap with Stone’s Office Supply for downtown plaza

City Council will be asked on Tuesday to give Stone's Office Supply part of the Bingham St. parking lot in exchange for other nearby lots
Stone’s land swap
Proposed land exchange. Property labeled 'A' is existing Stone's parking, Property labeled 'B' will be the new Stone's parking. Property labeled 'C' is the access to Arturo's rear entrance

City Council will be asked to do a little horse-trading Tuesday with local businessman Peter Stone, in preparation for the new downtown plaza.

Melanie Borowicz-Sibenik, assistant city solicitor and senior litigation counsel, will seek a land exchange to acquire property currently used by Stone for parking for his tenants.

"Stone’s Office Supply Ltd., directed by Mr. Peter Stone, owns a property directly behind the Country Way store on Brock Street, specifically the desired city property," Borowicz-Sibenik says in a report prepared for Tuesday's City Council meeting.

"Mr. Stone/Stone’s Office Supply Ltd. owns several other properties in the immediate area and uses the desired city property as parking for his tenants. The location of this property is critical to the development of the downtown plaza."

"Mr. Stone has been very cooperative in property discussions with city staff. However he has stressed the need to be able to continue to provide parking in this area for his tenants."

"It has been agreed that rather than the city purchasing the desired city property, Mr. Stone will transfer it to the city at no cost in exchange for a portion of the city’s existing Bingham Street parking lot," Borowicz-Sibenik says.

The lots to be acquired by the city consist of a 15-foot-wide municipal laneway behind 519, 523 and 527 Queen Street East.

"All three properties are owned by Mr. Stone and he has been maintaining this lane at his cost for some time," says Borowicz-Sibenik.

"A number of years ago he resurfaced the laneway with paving stones which will be retained. Mr. Stone has asked if the laneway property could also be transferred to him."

"To ensure that access is maintained to 519 and 523 Queen St. as well as 515 Queen Street (Arturo’s) and 513 Queen Street, a private easement will be put in place as a condition of any property transfers."

Part of the Bingham Street parking lot being transferred to Stone’s Office Supply Ltd. will be repaved to provide proper drainage.

"A guard rail will be constructed along the easterly and southerly edges of the lot and appropriate signage installed to identify this area as private parking," Borowicz-Sibenik said.

In other plaza-related news, councillors will be asked Tuesday to approve spending up to $260,000 for architectural and engineering services for the new Mill Market at 73 Brock Street, the former Union Cab building.

This week's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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