Northern field delayed

Northern Secondary School may have to wait just a little bit longer to get their Clarke Pulford Field revitalized.

School trustee Josh Matlow said K&G Developments, which is required to donate $500,000 to the project in return for zoning considerations at a near-by condo project, has cited both the recession and the city staff strike as reasons for not yet making good on its obligations.

But according to Councillor Michael Walker, the developer is dragging its heels and called accusations regarding the strike unfounded.
In a letter obtained from Walker’s office, sent by city planner Louis Tinker, on June 18 K&G Developments had not yet payed for its rezoning application at 299 Roehampton Ave.

“Optimistically, the earliest that this can occur will be the city council meeting of Sept. 30, 2009,” Tinker wrote.

Walker said the field revamp has been going on much longer than the strike, but he agreed the recession is problematic.

Chris Sellors, Walker’s executive assistant, said K&G has another project on the go in North York and has become conservative with its purse strings.

“The developer is awfully altruistic when it comes to Northern,” Walker said. “(But) it’s all about business with him.

“It’s been a real disappointment.”

Calls to Marvin Katz, co-founder of K&G, were not returned by press time.

But the Clarke Pulford Field project will continue, said Matlow.

“(It) is still a go,” he said. “I need to learn about exactly what the timing will be, but we were hoping to get the shovel in the ground over the summer and realistically I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

How long the delay will be is not yet known, though it is dependent on K&G’s money, hashing out of zoning issues, city council approval and the development of a community-use agreement.

Matlow has invited K&G to the next stakeholders’ meeting, Aug. 18 at Northern, to keep the lines of communication open.

“I need to work with them delicately because I don’t want to put too much blame on them,” he said. “At the end of the day, I want them to be there.”

The St. Paul’s trustee added Northern is not the only school having problems keepings its buildings and grounds up to snuff.

“To be quite honest with you, it’s not much different than other fields across the city,” Matlow said. “So many of our fields, like so many of our buildings, are just not in good repair: they’re crumbling, the fields are turning into dustbowls.

“So our community at Northern decided to put it into our own hands and see if we can raise the money to make things better.”

About this article:

By: Brian Baker
Posted: Aug 17 2009 4:15 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto