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The reason Woodbine Live is stalled: Cordish and Woodbine Entertainment can’t get along

Finally, some details on why the Woodbine Live development—Rob Ford’s signature achievement from his days as a councillor—has made zero progress. Though the rough economy has made attracting tenants and investors difficult, the real reason for the holdup is that partners Woodbine Entertainment Group and Baltimore-based Cordish Companies are fighting, according to the Globe and Mail. Neither company would elaborate on the source of the dispute, but Nick Eaves, Woodbine’s CEO, said they’re currently in confidential arbitration to try to work it out. And here’s where things get interesting: four years ago, council agreed to a tax break that would whittle down the developers’ property tax bill by $120 million over 20 years in the hopes that they’d bring over 9,000 jobs to the area. But those incentives will expire in October 2014 if the duelling partners haven’t finished 800,000 square feet of the mega-project—and, as of now, the project doesn’t even have a final site plan, subdivision agreement or building permits (meaning, it’s basically an empty field). Unless Woodbine and Cordish can make up, and quickly, the site could stay vacant for a long while—or at least until this casino business gets settled. [Globe and Mail]

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