Council has given initial approval for the town to move forward with negotiations with Streetcar Development Inc. and Dream Unlimited Inc. for the redevelopment of the Collingwood Terminals building.
During Thursday’s (Aug. 18) regular meeting of council, councillors voted to authorize staff to move forward on creating a memorandum of understanding with the developers, and to report back to council within 120 days with a draft agreement which will include a detailed concept for the project to revitalize the Collingwood landmark.
“If I can just say, I have happy tears in my eyes because this has been an amazing process and a real collaborative effort and everything we’ve accomplished to get here,” said Clerk Sara Almas.
Streetcar Developments Inc. and Dream Unlimited Corp. submitted the top-ranked bid for the Terminals redevelopment from a shortlist of three developers.
Details of any of the three proposals had been kept confidential, but the town and proponent released a joint news release this week stating the Streetcar/Dream plan is to reuse the Terminals by creating a full-service boutique hotel that includes restaurants and events spaces while highlighting the heritage attributes of the Terminals building.
The plan also includes enhancements to the public space on the spit including a "reimagined Millennium Park."
Finally, the developer proposes a new marina building and facilities that "will transform the Collingwood Harbour into a marine destination unmatched on Georgian Bay and beyond."
According to the town's release, the Streetcar/Dream proposal followed the guiding principles established by the town for the Terminals development project, which include structural preservation of the terminals, and optimized public access to the spit.
“Tonight is the culmination of a very painful period of time for this community where we have gone through... a judicial inquiry and a cloud over this community as it relates to extracurricular activity,” said Mayor Keith Hull. “We have come full circle where we now, I think with all confidence, can say to the community that when this final vision is presented... we can hold our heads high, and staff can hold their heads high in knowing that... town hall is operating at an above-board, open and transparent manner.”
“This procurement process was second to none,” he said.
The procurement process involved a guidance/evaluation group made up of seven senior staff members and independent advisors from KPMG, RFP Solutions as the fairness monitor, and Miller Thomson for legal advice.
Once the request for proposals from the shortlisted developers was complete, town staff undertook a compliance review with the fairness monitor, a technical evaluation, and a closed session presentation with the evaluation committee. Council observed the session, but was not involved in selecting the top-ranked bid.
“Although council wasn’t very involved throughout this process, I so liked the transparency and accountability. It’s probably been the most well-run RFP that’s been done in this town. I thank you for that,” said Coun. Yvonne Hamlin.
The town has kept a page on the Engage Collingwood website dedicated to the Collingwood Terminals revitalization process, you can visit it here.
Once a memorandum of understanding between the town and the proponent is complete, a public consultation process will follow on the project.
“We can’t wait to share all the details once the parties have had an open dialogue on the proposal,” said the town's executive director of customer and corporate services, Amanda Pegg. “It is our intention to have this go to the public as soon as possible.”
With files from Erika Engel.