Surveys conducted as part of the Downtown Vitalization Study showed that citizens were critical of the state of repair and appearance of many Downtown buildings. This is also no doubt one of the reasons that many of the apartments above stores remain unoccupied. To help address these issues, Council tonight approved the spending of $136,822 of the 2018 budget of $150,000 on Community Improvement Plan (C.I.P.) grants. There were seven applications in the 2018 intake – of these, 6 were approved and one deferred pending completion of outstanding work. Several of the applications indicated that they plan to make apartments available on the second and third floors of their properties. Critics of Cobourg’s Downtown have said that the addition of more people living downtown would by itself help spur re-vitalization.
Since Downtown is in a Heritage District, all of the upgrades must follow the Town’s heritage rules – e.g on colours. At tonight’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting, heritage awards were handed out and two recipients were recipients of CIP funds in 2017 (Ferreri and Trozzolo). Once again, Lou Trozzolo is a recipient in 2018 at 35-37 King West.
The photo at right is an example of what will be upgraded. It’s a Google photo of 39 King Street East which will be the new home of the Fresh Food store of Market and Smor. Their intent is to paint the upper areas and to add a new sign “Fresh Foods” as well as repainting the spotlights for the sign. This store has been more than 12 months in the making. Lucas Cleveland and Montana DesJardins moved to Cobourg early 2017 and announced their plan for a European style green-grocer. But they had a problem finding a good location – mostly the rents were too high – so they have been operating the beach canteen while working on setting up this location for their store.
Director of Planning Glenn McGlashon said that although the total value of projects in 2018 is almost $1M, the town is providing only 15% of that so the leverage is very good.
Approved CIP Projects
Note that Grants/Loans percent indicates proportion of the total to be spent by owner.
|2 King St. W, 239-243 Division St.
(n/w corner of King St. W. and Division St)
||Repairs and Painting||No residential tenants at 239 & 243 Division.
In the future, the owner of the property intends to provide between 8-10 rental apartments on the second and third floors of 239 and 243 Division Street.
|40 King St W. (Jake’s)||$4,000 Building Improvement Grant (20%)||New Roof||Residential units on second and third floors unoccupied.|
|42-44 King St. W (Buttermilk/ Peter’s Barber Shop)||$2,750 Building Improvement Grant (20%)||New Roof||Residential units on second and third floors unoccupied|
|89 King St. W (Royal Spa)||$2,500 Study Grant (31%)||Study||A new residential dwelling unit on second floor (live/work)|
|39 King St. E (Market and Smor – recently Ginger Thai restaurant and before that McGregors)||
|Affordable residential units on 2nd and 3rd floors and one vacant commercial unit|
|35-37 King St. W (Lou Trozzolo, Cheslers)||
||Refurbish/ Renovate||Refurbish/renovate/create 4 new apartment units and related work on vacant second and third floors|
Approval for the seventh request was deferred. It was to repair/replace failing capitals at the top of 4 columns, which are a character defining heritage feature of the building at 323 George (Mansions on George). Project cost is estimated at $20,000. Although deemed “quite worthy”, the project was not eligible for a CIP grant or loan because there is an “outstanding Order to Comply to address outstanding deficiencies associated with an open Building Permit”. Council agreed that approval of the application be delegated to the Evaluation Committee and Municipal Staff in case the applicant addresses the Order to Comply.
Council also approved that new applications would be considered for the unallocated portion of the $150,000.00 in the amount of $13,178.00 and that approval for these would also be delegated.