I’m concerned that Cadan either has not heard our concerns or is choosing to ignore them. An article in today’s Record indicates that they seem to think that seeing the wonderful work on the main complex will impress us so much that we’ll support their plans for the other block that comprises the Tannery Distict. I am disappointed to reach this conclusion with a meeting scheduled Thursday to discuss citizens’ concerns. We can only reach a win-win solution if they can demonstrate that they have heard us.

We have shown that we understand their plans and have offered alternatives to consider. I am confident that the work on the main complex will be impressive and an asset to downtown Kitchener. In fact, it’s my confidence in Cadan that drives me to push for a true district made for people.

By itself the main building will not create any street life but if the Tannery is developed as a whole (rather than being split into separate sites) with the same quality of work, Kitchener will boast a wonderful people place especially if we learn from Toronto’s Distillery District and fill it with an eclectic, artsy mix of shops, galleries, theatres, and offices. Doing so could make it a crown jewel in the revitalization of downtown Kitchener and be the type of place that attracts people to spend time downtown. It can be exactly what our communinity leaders have been looking for to attract and retain the creative class. A parking lot or the proposed mixed use building (if it ever comes) on half of the Tannery site will never have the same benefits.

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