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Town confirms some details in pending Terminals development deal

Though the proposed memorandum of understanding is still considered confidential, the town has confirmed its plans to sell 0.2 acres of the property to the developer, and lease 0.8 acres long-term
Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

The latest details from the plan to redevelop the Collingwood Terminals building indicate the town intends to sell a parcel of land to the developer, and lease some more of the land long-term. 

Earlier this year, plans for the Collingwood Terminals building were presented to the public, the result of the town undergoing a lengthy selection process to choose Streetcar Developments Inc. as the private partner in the revitalization plan for the waterfront building and property. 

Currently, the concrete silos, formerly a grain elevator for rail and shipping commercial operations, are classified as abandoned. Streetcar proposes turning them into a 10-floor hotel and ground-floor restaurant, cafe, and community space. Beside the Terminals building, Streetcar proposed a 24-storey residential condominium tower. 

According to a staff report included on the June 5 agenda for council's committee of the whole, the as-yet unsigned memorandum of understanding includes terms for selling 0.2 acres of the spit lands to the developer, Streetcar, for the proposed residential development. The remaining 19.8 acres of land on what is known as the spit would remain under the town's ownership. However, the memo also proposes a life lease of about 0.8 acres of land to Streetcar to accommodate the overhaul of the silos to create the hotel and public amenities. 

Among the plans presented in March were also changes to the public park area to include more amenities like a swimming pier, space for non-motorized water activities, a skating rink, and winter warming stations. The estimated completion date for the work, should it go ahead, is 2028. 

Additional details from the staff report note the town's financial commitment to the project is about $15 million. But since it's early in the process, the budget could change. 

The town would be contributing to the cost of the public amenities on the spit, and could apply development charges to the projects that are eligible. 

"The overarching principle is that the developer is willing to manage the construction process for the entire revitalization project including both the Terminals redevelopment and the construction of the servicing and access requirements and the public amenities," states the staff report on the June 5 agenda. "This ensures that the entire project can proceed in an efficient, well-planned manner as a single project resulting in a timely completion." 

The town has also confirmed that stakeholder groups and the public will still have access to the spit through most of the construction. In cases of restricted access for the general public, the developer is supposed to make sure there's access for stakeholder groups. Collingwood Yacht Club, for example, uses the space in the harbour immediately next to the Terminals building. 

The agreement coming to council on Monday is mostly confidential and not legally binding, it is the next step toward negotiating binding agreements between the town and the developer. Since the matter is going to council's committee of the whole first, it will also then have to go to a regular council meeting for a vote later in June. 

If council approves the memorandum of understanding, the town and developer will start negotiating on the binding agreements and finalizing the concept for the land, which will include public engagement. 

Council does have the option to turn down the memorandum of understanding and continue to maintain the Terminals as an abandoned building.

"While the memorandum of understanding is non-binding, the town has negotiated in good faith and confirms that based on the currently available information, staff is comfortable with the key business terms in the memorandum of understanding," states the staff report. 

Council's committee of the whole meeting starts at 2 p.m. on June 5 in the town hall council chambers. 

According to the staff report, the cost for preserving or demolishing the Terminals building as-is ranges from $8 million to $12 million. Those costs would not be eligible as a development charges project. 

More to come.

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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