07/01/2008 12:00AM

Tax breaks possible for Woodbine project


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The “Woodbine Live!” project, to be located here on racetrack property, could benefit from multimillion-dollar tax breaks under the city of Toronto’s community improvement program.

A news release issued Monday by the city of Toronto said the city’s Economic Development Committee will meet next Tuesday and will consider a city council report recommending that Woodbine receive financial incentives that come in the form of tax breaks.

Woodbine Live!, a partnership between the Woodbine Entertainment Group and the Baltimore-based The Cordish Company, is a $1 billion-plus, 180-acre project that will include a hotel, a live-performance venue, a skating canal and rink, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, retail outlets, offices, and residential units.

Toronto city council sees the project being a major benefit to the city and the local area with more than $1 billion in construction value, 9,400 new jobs, preferred consideration for jobs and training to local residents, and improvements in local transit.

The city recommends that the tourism/entertainment component of the project receive a grant equal to the portion of the increased taxes, estimated at $76.3 million, generated by the development over 20 years.

The present value of that grant is estimated at $71.2 million over the 20-year period.

Work is scheduled to begin on the project this fall.