a genuine fixer upper

Are you looking for a heritage property in Aurora?

If so you may want to considered 15086 Yonge Street, here’s the listing:

In 2011 Aurora council voted to turn The George Browning House, one of town’s heritage highest ranked assets, or what the mayor lovingly referred to as a "money pit", into nothing more than a dirt pit.

I commented on it as it went down in a bunch of posts including December 20th 2011: https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/100-watts-the-george-t-browning-house/ January 26th 2012:
https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/losing-a-battle-but-winning-the-war-like-a-boss/ and April 12th 2012:

A dirt pit is how the site remained since the heritage home was demolished well over a year ago.

The dreams of a Monti-sorry Monstrosity fronting onto Yonge Street brought forth in a delegation to HAC by Howard Friedman, Mario Giorgio, Antony Malfara, Stefano Bucciol, and Malina Giorgio of Vogue Property Management were once visible on the town website here: http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/app/wa/mediaEntry?mediaEntryId=59448

Dreams shared by Clr. Buck in her post here: http://evelynmbuck.blogspot.ca/2012/04/hopes-and-dreams.html

"If the owners plans are realized, we will see a distinct improvement to life ,vitality and street-scape at the former idle,dilapidated site of the former George Browning house. We will realize cost-sharing for our municipal services."


"I hope another for sale sign will not soon be posted on the property for further decades of receiving municipal services ; water, sewers ,street, street lighting, sidewalk. snow-plowing, police, fire protection and contributing but a penny of support to the cost of services provided to the property."

It appears these dreams were never realized.

Instead the property listing now touts "Infill Development Site", "Many Uses Permitted" and "Excellent Yonge Street Exposure" advancing Clr. Chris Ballard’s take at the time: "Without the historic home and its designation there remains little obstacle to develop the property for other purposes, perhaps mixed residential and therefore be more lucrative for the current owner to flip the property if it doesn’t suit their needs." I touched on that in my April 5th 2012 post here: https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/money-pit-or-money-pile/

What I can’t fathom is why committee and council approved a demolition permit outright and didn’t make it contingent on site plan approval. How could staff, committee and council be content with hopes and dreams when it is their job to craft and execute policy?

This seemed to be echoed by neighbor Graham Wride, who in a January 2012 Error Banner piece was quoted as saying the whole system seems to be working backwards. "The owners haven’t requested rezoning and there hasn’t been another site plan approved. In two years, we could have a vacant lot and no plans approved. There needs to be a higher standard here."

This Banner piece http://www.donotlink.com/framed?44673 captures even more hopes including the "hope to include bricks and pieces of wood from the original building in the new structure."

Given those materials were not retrieved by the town but by the owner what exactly happens to them now that the property is put to sale?

Deputy Mayor Abel, chair of the HAC has provided the following answer:

The Item was brought before the Heritage Advisory Committee on February 13, 2012 where the Heritage Advisory Committee recommended to Council,

THAT the recommendation for Item 5 – HAC11-025 – Demolition Application for Heritage Structure regarding the George Browning House be amended to read “…THAT the Heritage Advisory Committee recommend to Council to consent to the demolition application with the understanding that the applicant will salvage any and all items that can be used from the building in the new one and that a display be set up in the lobby along with relevant historical information on George Browning and the house.” This recommendation was adopted by Council on February 28, 2012.

Stefano Bucciol, an owner of the subject property, has confirmed that materials were salvaged from the building prior to demolition in accordance with the motion of Council on February 28, 2012. Mr. Bucciol has confirmed that these materials are currently stored at a warehouse facility off-site and that the materials are still available for use in the lobby of a new building.

Mr. Bucciol has confirmed that the Town of Aurora will be notified should these materials no longer be intended for re-use on-site by the current property owners.

So the items salvaged from the George Browning House will be made available to the town when a transfer of sale happens.

Great, and where exactly does the town plan to put them exactly?


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