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Published on Thursday, June 15, 2017

Town study examines economics of Glen Abbey

Forecast of development effects ranges from $1 million gain to $2.5 million loss

Town study examines economics of Glen Abbey
Glen Abbey golf course
— Metroland Media
By Nathan Howes, Oakville Beaver

To help the Town of Oakville weigh in on the future of the Glen Abbey golf course, it commissioned a financial impact study of the property.

That report indicates redevelopment of the property would generate significant one-time impacts in Oakville, but its lasting impact could potentially be lower compared to that from its current use, as a golf club and facility that continues to serve as frequent host of the Canadian Open.

The Land Use Economic and Impact Analysis went to Planning and Development Council Monday, June 12.

The Town hired PricewaterhouseCoopers Real Estate Inc. (Pwc) to assess the current economic impact of Glen Abbey golf course in its current status as a golf course, and its permitted uses as a golf course and hotel.

Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. did an economic evaluation of the property, , if redeveloped.

Dorothy St. George, Oakville’s economic development director, presented it to Council Monday.

It is estimated the golf course generates $5.2-$6.4 million in revenue and incurs $4-$4.5 in operating costs annually.

The report estimates, as an operating golf course, it has a total economic impact in Oakville, measured in terms of GDP impact, of $2.9-$3.6 million per year.

In years when Glen Abbey hosts the Canadian Open, that impact is estimated at $22 million, almost 280-person years of employment and nearly $72,000 in property tax revenue for the Town.

The Canadian Open offers a number of positive benefits within Oakville, including GDP impacts of $18.1 million and employment of 220 jobs.

The tournament also positively impacts hotel occupancy in Oakville, providing short-term increases in vacancy during the month it is held. Also noted is its name recognition, online search popularity and tourism impacts for Oakville.

The 1333 Dorval Dr. property is zoned as private open space and permits, among other uses, a golf course and hotel.

The report noted, with a golf course and 150-room hotel, the Glen Abbey property is estimated to support annual GDP impacts of $26 million, 350-person years of employment and annual property tax income around $300,000, as well as one-time impacts associated with the construction of the hotel.

Construction of a hotel on the property could generate one-time GDP impacts of $18.6 million and support 265-person years of employment.

A hotel may draw 85,000 guests annually and provide $4.2 million in spending, too.

On Nov. 10, 2016, the Town received an application from ClubLink, property owners, to redevelop the golf course property into 3,222 residential units, 121,000 sq. ft. of new commercial space and about 124 acres of permanent, publicly-accessible green space.

Regarding the operation of the new commercial development proposed, there are one-time economic impacts that would result from the proposed redevelopment of the golf course, including employment and construction-related spending.

If developed, the report states — at full build-out, a redeveloped Glen Abbey is projected to generate property tax revenue to the Town between $5.9 million and $9.4 million annually and support 275-person years of employment.

In addition to the one-time impacts arising from the physical redevelopment of Glen Abbey, the Town is expected to benefit from the contribution of the Sixteen Mile Creek valley lands to the Town by ClubLink.

However, a redeveloped Glen Abbey golf course will require increased operational and life cycle expenditures by the Town.

Depending on the assessed value of properties ultimately developed, the fiscal impact to the Town could range from a net annual shortfall of $2.5 million to a net annual surplus of $1 million.

Should that be the case, council was advised municipal property tax rates may need to be adjusted, according to the report.

Chris Stoate, local businessman and former Ward 3 Town councillor, was at council to say a redevelopment of the golf course property would be a “loss to the community, a loss of an amenity, a blow to its prestige and a loss of one of the elements that makes Oakville, Oakville.”

Because of Glen Abbey golf course’s popularity, a year’s notice is required to book tournaments, Stoate claimed.

“It’s obvious to everyone that Glen Abbey has become an integral part of Oakville’s identity,” said Stoate.

As part of the Town’s interim control bylaw placed on the lands until Jan. 31 2018, and before it can accept or reject a development proposal from ClubLink, there were three studies put forward that it deemed needed completed – Urban Structure Review, Land Use Economic and Impact Analysis study and the Cultural Heritage Landscape assessment.

To view the Pwc and Watson reports, visit https://securepwa.oakville.ca/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=3094&doctype=AGENDA.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

Tags: Growth , Oakville Town Council , Affordable Housing

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