The finance and economic development committee on Tuesday supported a proposed $2.9-million property tax break for the development of a new Porsche dealership.
The dealership eyed for 458 Montreal Rd. at St. Laurent Boulevard is eligible for financial help under the Montreal Road community improvement plan (CIP). This would be the first grant under the Montreal Road CIP.
City staff support Mark Motors’ application because the development “will help to attract new businesses, support existing businesses, and nurture economic growth.” Part of the Alfa Romeo/Maserati building on the corner property would be demolished to build the new Porsche dealership.
Staff have decided that the project is eligible for a maximum of $2,910,171 in property tax relief over 10 years.
The application, however, drew criticisms from some public delegates who questioned handing out tax breaks for a luxury car dealership. Deputations also questioned placing a two-storey Porsche dealership in Vanier.
On the other hand, the Quartier Vanier BIA and the ward councillor, Rawlson King of Rideau-Rockcliffe, supported the application.
BIA chair Mark Kaluski said the brand of a product, like Porsche, is irrelevant to a city program intended to bolster economic development.
The new Porsche dealership building will be 3,237 square meters. The construction value of the development is estimated by the city at $17 million.
Mark Motors owner Michael Mrack said the existing Porsche store to just east of the development site is running over-capacity. The new site will double the size of work bays and will employ skilled technicians, he said. The company hopes to double the number of staff.
City CIPs provide relief to help offset the increase in property taxes expected from a new development in target areas, Montreal Road being one of them. There are also CIP programs in Bells Corners, Orléans and on St. Joseph Boulevard. The city has a CIP program for heritage properties, too.
The city estimates that the new Porsche dealership will generate an extra $3,880,228 in property taxes over 10 years. The tax break will be rolled out during the development of the property as the property value increases.
Council will be asked to approve the Mark Motors CIP application on May 26.