The former Walker Power Building in Windsor is seen on May 14, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Brownfield Grant Recommended For Walkerville Building

The redevelopment of a Walkerville property may be accelerated if Windsor City Council gives the OK.

The city’s Planning, Heritage and Economic Development Committee approved a recommendation Monday night to refer a Brownfield Community Improvement Plan (CIP) grant request to city council. The grant request of $25,000 will be split into two environmental studies for the former Walker Power Building at Riverside Dr. E and Devonshire Rd.

The current owners of the building ultimately hope to restore it for commercial and office use. It has been sitting vacant and decaying since 2001, when it was declared unsafe by the city’s building department.

Senior Planner Greg Atkinson with the City of Windsor told the committee the building’s history made reuse attractive.

“The building’s been vacant for the past 17 years. It was formerly part of the Walker Power Division and it’s on the municipal heritage registry, so reuse is certainly desirable,” said Atkinson.

As a rule, there has traditionally been little interest in redeveloping areas that may be contaminated and require clean-up. However, buildings with strategic locations in neighbourhoods and near public transit do not require additional infrastructure costs.

The $25,000 grant would cover half the cost of up to two studies. Atkinson said if contamination is discovered as the result of one of the studies, another Brownfield CIP application would be brought in to delineate the extent of any contamination.

The grant, if approved by city council, would be paid out of the city’s brownfield strategy and remediation account.