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No bids within budget for TBM Gateway attainable housing project

Housing corporation to provide update about the project to The Blue Mountains council on March 6

The Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation has been unable to find a bidder for the Gateway project in Thornbury.

On Feb. 27, the housing corporation announced that its request for proposal process had recently concluded with no design-builder being selected for the project to be located at 171 King Street in Thornbury.

“The high cost of borrowing, labour and construction materials combined with reduced government funding have had a profound impact on the financial viability of housing projects across Canada, including the Gateway Project,” said Jennifer Bisley, housing corporation executive director.

The housing corporation launched the request for proposal process to find a contractor to design and build the project, which included attainable housing and commercial units. The King Street property was once the home of the Foodland grocery store and was purchased by the town after the store moved to its present location.

The housing corporation had prequalified four proponents for the project in June 2022. It received a single proposal from Buttcon Limited by the submission deadline of Dec. 2, 2022.

“The proposal met all mandatory and technical requirements, but the funding proposal exceeded the stated budget. In accordance with the RFP, Buttcon Limited was invited to commence negotiations to determine options to reduce costs,” the news release stated.

Housing corporation chair Gavin Leitch thanked Buttcon for their interest in the project.

“We are disappointed with the outcome,” said Leitch. “I want to thank Buttcon Limited for their efforts to work with us on a solution, but ultimately, we were unable to make the financial model work.”

When asked for a comment, The Blue Mountains Mayor Andrea Matrosovs, who is a housing corporation board member, deferred to Leitch’s statement on the matter.

“The Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation will be considering its options to proceed with the Gateway Project given the ongoing urgent need for attainable housing in the community,” the news release concluded.

The housing corporation is scheduled to make a deputation at the March 6 meeting of The Blue Mountains council meeting to provide an update about the project and respond to questions from members of council.

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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