DWBIA Wants Pelissier Garage Control

DWBIA Chair Larry Horwitz unveils a business plan to take over the Pelissier Garage, June 12, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

Retail space in the Pelissier parking garage is on the chopping block, but the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association has a plan to save it.

A recommendation coming before city council on Monday suggests gutting the ground floor of the building, and putting in 42 new parking spaces.

That’s something DWBIA Chair Larry Horowitz says goes against Windsor’s own master plan. “What we need to do is fix up the shops; whether it’s a private developer that does it, or the city, or whoever wants to take on the task. We need to repair them and we need to have a walkable, pedestrian-friendly downtown.”

Horwitz says his organization wants to take control of the building. “We believe that through our business plan that the revenues taken in from creating more parking revenue, filling up the retail shops, fixing them up — the positive financial gain will more than offset the losses,” he says.

The DWBIA has wants to sit down with city administration to go over details of the new business plan. The plan includes leasing the garage for $1 for 25 years and bringing eight new stores to the building. The city would also see a $60,000 profit share each year.

Horowitz says it would cost roughly $2-million to completely renovate the retail space, or $500,000 to gut it and turn it into parking.

An online petition can be found here.

— with files from Mike Vlasveld