While it is impossible to ignore the challenges faced by businesses over the course of 2020 and that still are ahead, one of the bright lights that has been shining is the success of the new Chatham-Kent Community Improvement Plan. Approved last March by Municipal Council, the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) has been instrumental in helping to drive new housing, specifically rental unit development, across the region.
Following the launch of the program, a new 244 apartment unit was launched by The Piroli Group at 460 Park Avenue West. This was the first of what has been a number of applications and developments to come to Chatham-Kent.
Another example of development thanks to the CIP includes the two new proposed apartments by Skyline, which will see 142 units come to 53-57 Riverview Drive, Chatham.
"Making the decision to invest and build in Chatham-Kent was made significantly easier thanks to a combination of factors. They had the infrastructure in place that we could connect into, they had key information about water, sanitary sewer capacity and other utilities readily available, and overall they were prepared, and eager to help," said Carrie Lamarche, Vice President, SkyDev. "We plan to commence construction in the spring and anticipate welcoming the first residents to this exciting development in summer 2022."
Residents will enjoy views of the river and beautifully landscaped open spaces. The suites will have an open concept design with modern finishes, quartz countertops, in-suite laundry, and on-site storage. The expansive indoor and outdoor amenity building includes a kitchen, games room, indoor/outdoor fireplace with BBQs for enjoyment with the whole family.
The focus of the CIP is to encourage development initiatives and stimulate new investment across Chatham-Kent by offering tax assistance and other grants to large apartment and affordable housing projects, and new commercial and industrial builds. There are specific time limits set on each program and incentives to ensure that projects move along in a timely manner and the community realizes the benefits as quickly as possible.
"Encouraging new housing development is a high priority for Chatham-Kent, which is why the CIP and other initiatives are being launched with some aggressive and actionable time lines. Some incentives are only available for a limited time so we encourage developers to start the application process now," said Ryan Jacques, Director of Chatham-Kent Planning Services.
New rental housing development has also picked up outside of the city of Chatham. On November 23, Council approved a new rental development by Tunio Developments Inc. at 23 Louise Street, Tilbury, Ontario.
"Municipal staff has been working with Tunio Developments Inc. to move forward with a 4-story apartment which will contain 18 units," said Jacques. "There will be a mix of 1 and 2 bedroom units with several being accessible-ready."
Following the Council meeting, Khurram Tunio from Tunio Developments Inc., said, "It has been great to see the enthusiasm the Mayor and Council expressed for this new residential development and recognized it as a boon for the community. We really appreciate the clear-headed, development-minded support that the municipality has offered. Chatham-Kent is by far one of best communities we have had the opportunity to work with. Staff collaboration and Council support has been the key reason for us choosing this great community for building this project".
Complimenting rental development growth gained through the targeted CIP, Chatham-Kent is also experiencing a boom in residential development housing thanks to increased demand and an elevated average home price. When compared to the past 10 years, local developers are setting new records for building permit requests. This can be seen in housing developments, which have already launched in communities across Chatham-Kent.
"We listened to developers tell us what they need to be successful, and we are working with many by advancing a renewed growth strategy across Chatham-Kent. Even though there has been a pandemic going on, the Planning Department has been running full steam ahead," said Jacques. "Our goal is to help Chatham-Kent grow and to make sure people know that we are open for business. I'm looking forward to 2021 and the opportunities that are ahead."
To learn more about the CIP and the inventive programs, visit
In this photo, the Piroli development on Park Street in Chatham is progressing well and has seen a great deal of growth since the groundbreaking ceremony in September, 2020.
- SkyDev, the newest member of the Skyline Group of Companies (Skyline), is advancing plans for a new development of rental apartments along the Thames River in Chatham. The proposed development on Riverview Drive received site plan approval during this month's council meeting, with plans to commence construction in the Spring.
- Rivers Edge is part of SkyDev's expansive plans to develop thousands of new rental suites in Ontario. "The past few months have intensified Ontario's housing crisis, and the need is stronger than ever with the availability of rental apartments at all-time lows," added Greg Jones, President, SkyDev. SkyDev is aiming to break ground on more than 1,000 rental apartments over the next year in addition to Chatham, in Gravenhurst, Tecumseh, Welland, Collingwood, and Peterborough.
- Learn more about Chatham-Kent Economic Development and the Small Business Centre at
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