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Could sales earn city $615M?

The Smell Test provides a closer look at claims made by GTA mayoral candidates.

The Smell Test provides a closer look at claims made by GTA mayoral candidates.

Claim: George Smitherman said he would bring in $615 million in his first term as mayor by selling city-owned Enwave, as well as surplus lands.

Background: In his budget blueprint, Smitherman plans to sell the city’s interest in Enwave, the company that provides heating and deep-lake water cooling to downtown buildings, for $100 million in 2011.

He said sales of “surplus land” would fetch $65 million more that year, increasing to $150 million each year through 2014.

Smell test: Smitherman’s target seems on the mark. In Toronto’s budget process this year, it was suggested the city sell its 43 per cent stake in Enwave, which was analyzed as being worth more than $100 million.

Smitherman’s plan for surplus land isn’t novel. The city’s blueprint for fiscal stability suggested Toronto “should conservatively target $150 million annually from real estate development, sales, etc.”

Build Toronto, the city’s new real estate corporation, has a portfolio of city-owned lands worth about $200 million. The value is expected to climb to $350 million by 2014.

At first glance, this wouldn’t cover the $515 million Smitherman seeks. But the city could use its appraisal process to find other city-owned lands it’s willing to sell, which could make up the difference.

Verdict: Fresh.

 
 
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