'A sense of home': Renters concerned by plans to sell properties
KITCHENER -- Residents who rent in a Kitchener neighbourhood are raising concerns about the possible sale of the land they live on.
“We need to try and protect people that live here rather than displacing them to build big condos,” said renter Katie Irwin.
For sale signs went up earlier this month at 10 different buildings at the corner or Weber and Cedar Streets and on May Place in downtown Kitchener.
The asking price for the 1.3 acres of land is $14 million.
“It’s going to be good for the market. It's going to good for the downtown. It’s going to be good for the core area,” Andrew Head said.
Head is the son of one of the seven owners who own the 10 buildings.
“This is business. This is strictly business,” Head said.
Some renters who live there now say they’re worried about where they’ll go if the sale goes through.
“I can’t afford a two bedroom for me and my kid downtown. I am a single parent. I work in social services downtown,”said resident Gage Simpson.
Some don’t want to leave the close-knit community.
“It’s like a sense of home about this place that you don’t get a lot of places, especially downtown,” said Gage.
Head said the plan is to turn the roughly 20 dwellings into hundreds of units.
Peak Realty, the company involved in the sale, said it likely would take a couple of years for shovels to hit the ground and added that residents don’t have to leave just yet.
“They’re saying that there is a housing crisis and we need to build more dense affordable housing. But that’s exactly what this area is,” said Irwin.
The city would not comment on this sale specifically but said the city is looking for more tools to increase affordable housing options in the city.
Peak Realty said interest has been steady. They will be holding offers for the sale until May 23.