Councillor questions building agency - Metro US

Councillor questions building agency

Toronto’s new development agency, Build Toronto, is putting the city in a conflict of interest by forcing the city to act as both a developer and a planning regulator, says Coun. Howard Moscoe.

But Mayor David Miller has pushed back strongly against misgivings voiced by Moscoe and some other councillors about Build Toronto, whose job is to wring more money from city-owned real estate.

The executive committee yesterday reviewed a list of 30 properties owned by the city or its agencies that will be assigned to Build Toronto for development, probably with private partners.

Several are TTC parking lots or bus terminals; also included is a property at Yonge Street and Empress Avenue in North York’s downtown.

Moscoe warned troubles lie ahead if the city becomes an aggressive developer. A special advisory group estimated in 2008 that the city could make $150 million a year by exploiting its real estate assets. “Over a period of time, the development process will always trump the planning process,” he warned.

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