February 15, 2019
TORONTO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Sidewalk Labs unit is seeking a share of property taxes, development fees, and the rising value of Toronto city land as part of a deal to build a smart city, a report in Toronto Star newspaper.
Sidewalk Labs, which provides urban technology infrastructure, is planning a 4.9-acre smart city along Toronto’s harbor front, a project that has already faced opposition from locals over concerns of data privacy.
The paper reported on Friday that Sidewalk Labs believed they were “entitled to … a share in the uptick in land value on the entire geography … a share of developer charges and incremental tax revenue on all land,” citing presentation slides obtained by the newspaper.
Alphabet is the parent company of Google.
Sidewalk Labs Chief Executive Officer Dan Doctoroff told the newspaper the slides were authentic.
“We’re prepared to take the risk up front of developing a model to help make that happen, and we’re prepared to essentially get paid back when we’ve demonstrated that it can be successful,” Doctoroff told Toronto Star.
Sidewalk Labs and the Toronto City Mayor’s office did not have an immediate comment.
(Reporting by Tyler Choi; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)