Penta Properties President Paul Paletta has a grand vision for a big part of Aldershot. He wants to use the 2030 Commonwealth Games as a catalyst for the development of 49 hectares of vacant land south of the 403 and north of railway tracks between the GO Station and King Road.
Paletta thinks that Aldershot should be part of Hamilton’s 2030 games bid. He speculates openly on the possibility of an athlete’s village and a gymnastics facility, projects that could serve to stimulate the complete development of the entire site.
After the games, he imagines that the property would evolve into a complete community including affordable housing, business and employment opportunities. Speculation also includes educational facilities for Sheridan College and Mohawk College. “We want to make King Road a centre of on-line games learning, coding, graphic design”, according to Paletta.
In the end, he believes his site could accommodate 10,000 new residents in a mixed-use setting where people could live, work and play within walking distance of their jobs and the GO Station.
Paletta’s dream is guided by several principles including; protecting the natural heritage system, creating more trails, building a central main street focal point, and the constructing a south service road aligned with a new grid of walkable streets.
The plan is by no means final. He wants to open a dialogue with City Council. He wants the City to tell him how his land can best serve Burlington’s aspirational goals. “Help me help you”.
As recently as last week Paletta and his team of partners and consultants escorted community leaders on a tour of the site. Those attending included representatives from Metolinx, Burlington Economic Development, Mercedes Benz, planners and politicians.
Heather Tremain, CEO of the Toronto based non-profit Options for Homes organization took the tour and liked what she saw.
“We’ve been having some conversations with the group that’s behind this project. It’s a great site. It’s connected with transit for people who are travelling. I think the vision is strong for a really complete community”.
Metrolinx Acting Director of Development Rebecca Ramsey also said she is eager to see the detailed plans because there are “obvious connections” to GO Transit.
So far, the City of Burlington has been luke-warm to Paletta’s vision pointing out that he already has an application on file for the site, which has nothing to do with the Commonwealth Games. If Paletta wants to get the City’s attention he will have to change his dream into a formal application.
story by Rick Craven