Downtown Commercial Property Update

Cobourg’s Real Estate market has been volatile – especially on the residential side (see link below) – and Commercial properties are no exception.  Despite Covid, sales are happening – some quickly and some slowly. Unless you are in Real Estate, it’s impossible to keep close tabs on what’s happening but some highlights of the Downtown market are worth looking at. I’ve also included some information on properties that have sold although details are not generally publicly available. Some sales are of the building, some of the business and some both. Although my focus is on Downtown, there is not much happening elsewhere anyway.  Note that market information (“on market for x days”) comes from web site realtor.ca – properties could have been listed earlier. Also some may have already sold!

Market highlights

  • 82 & 84 King ST West  $2,388,000  Income property.  Houses Clarke Somerville Sporting Goods and Ray’s Beauty Salon. Upper Floors used for Studio/Office/Workshop Spaces. Two Apartments with tenants at 82 King.  Sales person: Denise Eileen Liboiron  On market for 18 days.
  • 45 Covert St  $940,000  Building with 2 tenants including Cobourg Vision Care – opposite Cat & Fiddle pub.  On market for 24 days.  Sales person: Richard Dupuis
  • 6 Third Street  $34,900  Coffee shop business for sale  Just south of King St. Opposite Victoria Hall. On market for 29 days.   Sales person: John Campbell
  • #8 -79 King St West  $899,000 (was $988,000) Originally Royal Spa. Sales person: Denise Eileen Liboiron  On market for 105 days.
  • #9 & 10 – 79 King St., AKA 91/93 King St West.  $798,000  Building (Condos).  Houses Rustic Bean and King St Kitchen and Bar.  Sales person:  Denise Eileen Liboiron.  On market for 138 days.
  • 7 & 9 King West – $1,399,900 Building and Dutch Oven Restaurant Business. Includes 2 apartments.  On market for 223 days.  Sales person: Sanjiv Puri
  • 20 King West $99,000 Taste of Agra  Business only.  On market for 259 days  Sales person: Johnny Percolides
  • 38 Covert St. Cat & Fiddle Pub  Business for Sale $499,000  On market for at least 2 years Sales person: Ryan Earle

Cobourg’s Economic Development Department helps with some of these.  Go here. There is no publicly available information on how useful the Town’s involvement is to the market.

Sold

Latest on sold properties. Some properties have not “closed” and are not confirmed unless noted.

  • Kraft Property $16.8M see article here – sale confirmed but not yet closed,
  • “Quigley” parking lot – corner of Second and Albert Streets – approx. $2M – sale not confirmed.  Parking lease expires at end of 2022.
  • Harden & Huyse Building – 201 Division – home of Craft Food House and the Loft Cinema – ask $1.2M – sale confirmed but not yet closed.
  • Matterhorn Restaurant Business only $99,900.  Sold June 2021 (confirmed!) – on market for 5 months. Now open as Claymore Pub and Table restaurant.

Resources

Previous Reports on Cobourg News Blog

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Pete M
14 March 2022 5:29 pm

I would suggest the powers to be-Town and DBIA and Economic Development get ahold of the Town if Tillsonburg to see how they kept their downtown alive.
It is the only Town I know of that had its Walmart move out a big box location on the edge of Town to the Downtown core

marya
Reply to  Pete M
15 March 2022 7:10 am

A worthwhile suggestion, Pete! Another marvellous Town is Perth, Ontario, in Lanark County. I am amazed at how they have done it, and do it all, even incorporating a Home Hardware in the downtown historical landscape.

Dave Chomitz
Reply to  marya
16 March 2022 12:03 am

Cobourg could look at Perth for lots of reasons. We have been going there for 30 years and bought a home there to retire to before COVID. It is a lovely town with a vibrant downtown (Home Hardware relocated to the highway) – it’s what Cobourg was 40 years ago … people are made to feel welcome, the town is well managed in a practical kind of way, they’re not trying to be a ‘big fish” – the park isn’t fenced off every other weekend in the summer, the taxes a so much better (and the town clears every sidewalk in town when it snows). I think Cobourg could learn much Imagine …..

ben
Reply to  Pete M
16 March 2022 11:00 am

When Walmart came to Town and imposed itself on Industrial land and then bribed (and this is no libel) and bulldozed the rezoning, a suggestion was made to amalgamate some Downtown stores for WalMart purposes.

As predicted the idea went nowhere, because the Council of the day laid out the welcome mat and rezoned the land on Strathy Rd.

Last edited 6 months ago by ben
Pete M
14 March 2022 5:23 pm

I’m sorry folks the commercial areas of Cobourg are are two areas. Strathy Rd/Burnham and Division St from Munroe up 401.
The downtown has become an area for banks (and inly because they are forced there by a by-law) and a several boutique stores that come and go and restaurants that come and go at the whim of diners tastes.
Yes if the stores out at Strathy and Elgin had been located downtown it would be a different story.
But the Town and several citizens weren t prepared to allow buildings along King St be torn down and something better built in their place that would allow for those business at Strathy, at Division to locate downtown and be viable.
You can try all you want, but you cant fit 21st century businesses into 19th century buildings and expect them to thrive.
You have to respond to what the consumer wants and if it was downtown Cobourg then things would be booming and not changing owners every 6 months to a year

Pete M
Reply to  Pete M
15 March 2022 9:29 am

When your looking to the past, you can’t see the future

ben
Reply to  Pete M
16 March 2022 11:05 am

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”…..Edmund Burke.

also:

“Those who ignore history are bound (or doomed) to repeat it” is actually a mis-quotation of the original text written by George Santayana (1863-1952), who, in his Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1, wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Pete M
Reply to  ben
16 March 2022 11:22 am

I remember when Students from Durham College were invited to submit proposals for redesigns of downtown buildings that would bring a new street scape and make building more business friendly..

Where are those proposals now??

I see the Town’s focus on preservation of the buildings along King and Division at the expense of creating something new and vibrant that would bring in business or encourage business to move from the Strathy Rd area.

They may have one the battle to save the buildings but lost the war to create something long term stable, vibrant and economically viable.

sam
Reply to  Pete M
17 March 2022 6:16 pm

If you forget history you are doomed to repeat it!
Ukraine anyone?
By following history you can often see the future.
Pete. take a history lesson or three!

Pete M
Reply to  sam
22 March 2022 3:47 pm

So tell me sam how is following the history with the downtown helping it to be come a thriving and vibrant economic zone for the Town.
We are too beholden to the past and these old buildings that we can not create something new and vibrant.
As i point out earlier architectural students were invited to study the downtown and create new and update buildings. There were some really good ideas.
But unfortunately they to suffered the fate of numerous studies and consultant reports of the downtown…a dusty shelf at Town Hall. History to be forgotten

Sandpiper
14 March 2022 9:54 am

Now the Fish & Chip shop is for sale on William and University
another one bits the dust

marya
Reply to  Sandpiper
15 March 2022 7:17 am

It is a thriving business and is for sale, as has often been the case, due to people’s retirement ages.

sam
Reply to  marya
17 March 2022 6:30 pm

Dave is retiring a little early is he? Nowhere near retirement age.
Check your facts please.

sam
Reply to  Sandpiper
17 March 2022 6:26 pm

It has been for sale for well over 12 months. Six months after it opened.
I was never successful. A little pricey and not as good as Captain Georges. Big mouth voted#1? By who?

Beachwalker
12 March 2022 8:22 pm

Ten years ago I moved to Cobourg. I thought changes were on the horizon. Kevin Narraway had a vision but was stifled. Ha! Downtown is a disgrace. Another “pub” with no soul just opened,serving processed food cooked in a deep fryer. Time to smarten up Cobourg.

Mark
Reply to  Beachwalker
14 March 2022 2:56 pm

It is very ignorant to Slander a new place 🙄
what have you done to “smarten Cobourg” since you moved to the area ?

Beach walker
Reply to  Mark
18 March 2022 9:49 am

I actually ran a very successful business. What did you do?

Mark
Reply to  Beach walker
18 March 2022 9:50 pm

Been an owner of a local business for 31 years, my wife had a business on King st , she owner of a another business now
Again what have you done to smarten up Cobourg ?

Last edited 6 months ago by Mark
KayB
Reply to  Beachwalker
16 March 2022 8:15 am

If it is a pub I think you are talking about the food is most definitely not processed and cooked in a deep fryer. Most of the restaurants downtown have very much soul and due to the pandemic have struggled to keep open. They are independently owned and operated and should be thanked for bringing that vibe to downtown.

Denise Liboiron
12 March 2022 9:54 am

I can add some info not available through public site for mls – there are currently “conditionally sold” status meaning offers in pending due diligence on the following commercial:

82&84 King W and 81 Orange (vacant lot) which is part of that listing – property sale.
45 Covert – property sale
6 Third St Business only sale/lease of space

cornbread
12 March 2022 8:24 am

Looks like one half of downtown is for sale…is this like rats leaving the sinking ship???

Denise Liboiron
Reply to  cornbread
12 March 2022 9:56 am

I don’t have exact numbers as it is changing rapidly but I believe 12 – 14 units have been either sold or leases in Downtown Cobourg over the past approx. 7.5 months.

So – quite the opposite of your analogy. More like all types of animals Climbing on board two by two : )

Tucker
Reply to  Denise Liboiron
12 March 2022 3:18 pm

Well, good on you and your other realtors, if that is really the case. I happened to be in Port Hope today and took a drive down their main street, glancing quickly around as I drove, I could only spot one store that was empty. The rest had lovely painted store fronts, interesting signage above their doors. It was welcoming, someplace I would just like to walk down the street. Can’t say the same for Cobourg. Years ago when I was a teenager, we used to hitch hike to Cobourg, it was the place to be, not anymore. I’m ashamed of Cobourg.

Ahewson
Reply to  Tucker
12 March 2022 3:35 pm

Port Hope hasn’t succumb to the big box scurge as much as Cobourg has. Cobourg is quickly becoming a mini Whitby type of place. Strip plazas, big box stores, wide busy roads everywhere. Our planning department had an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the sprawling suburbs around the GTA but they have failed to do so. Walmart should’ve been told to walk or to build an urban platform store. Keith Oliver fought for all of this way back when Walmart was purposed. Some people could say Cobourg got the invest over Port Hope, Walmart very well could’ve gone there, but Port Hope still has its soul. Cobourg is losing its.

Dunkirk
Reply to  Tucker
13 March 2022 9:19 am

Do not be ashamed of Cobourg, Tucker. The good people of Port Hope, like the residents of a small, active volcanic island live in willful ignorance atop of the largest environmental cleanup in our nation’s history. They pretend to enjoy the industrial rail-line running thru their neigbourhood and tell themselves that their Ganaraska river will never flood their streets again. They tell themselves it’s safe to drink their water and that Cameco chose a nice waterfront location for it’s facility and that their front lawns won’t light on fire if you drop a match on them….

We have the beach–which never lets us down(as long as we are actually allowed to go on it) I’ll take Cobourg any day. I’d just like to trade our Town Council with the one in Port Hope…

Informed
Reply to  Tucker
13 March 2022 10:21 am

There is an restaurant long closed in Downtown Cobourg that has a plastic bag hanging on the door with “Mailbox” written on in with black magic marker. How someone living in a commercial unit using a commercial kitchen as their own is an example of whats wrong downtown. Why is this allowed?

Tucker
Reply to  Informed
13 March 2022 11:58 am

Agreed, what a disgrace that place is. Why can’t the health department move in and clean it out entirely. Council???????

Bryan
Reply to  Tucker
13 March 2022 1:20 pm

Informed & Tucker,

It’s not up to Council.
This is staff’s responsibility:..to enforce the by-laws. We all know the Town is not pro-active. Have complaints been made about this property?

Last edited 6 months ago by Bryan
Concerned
Reply to  Bryan
13 March 2022 1:39 pm

It’s not that they are not proactive in by-law it is that they only have two staff

Bryan
Reply to  Concerned
13 March 2022 2:38 pm

Concerned:

Indeed! Busy enforcing the by-laws.
Ticketing a guy for the fifth time for feeding the birds in the harbour . He was found not guilty the past four times, why does the Town think they will win this fifth time.
Isn’t a fifth time, after four failures, harassment?

Bryan
Reply to  Concerned
13 March 2022 2:42 pm

Concerned:

Two officers with no priorities, KPIs or performance reviews. it’s a small wonder that there is any enforcement at all.

Concerned
Reply to  Bryan
14 March 2022 10:08 am

Would you stop I get it you think KPIs will fix the world 🤦‍♂️.

Bryan
Reply to  Concerned
14 March 2022 12:49 pm

Concerned,
Not the world. Just some of the issues faced by Cobourg.

Why are you opposed to using KPIs?
This management tool is a mainstay in the private sector. KPMG had good reasons to recommend that Cobourg develop and use KPIs to help manage performance and support staff responsibility and accountability.

Concerned
Reply to  Bryan
15 March 2022 9:46 am

I’m not as stated previously they are not the only tool in the toolbox. You can have these things all you want but if you don’t have good leadership they aren’t worth a damn.

Bryan
Reply to  Concerned
15 March 2022 9:56 am

Concerned:

Ok. I can work with that.
In your view, is it the current executive staff that are weak, prior executive staff, or both?

Same for Council: current, prior, or both?

Care to share specifics?

Concerned
Reply to  Bryan
15 March 2022 2:21 pm

No, I’m saying in the past, as many have said the town promoted from within and did not necessarily have skilled people in the Senior Management positions and that is changing along with the addition of KPIs and Performance Reviews. So I believe that along with restructuring and more professionalism will move the town forward. I am quite happy for the most part with the new Senior Staff and will be happy as long as the new fire chief and deputy aren’t old school leaders and move fire into the future.

Bryan
Reply to  Concerned
15 March 2022 3:18 pm

Concerned:
Clear and concise. Well said

Informed
Reply to  Bryan
13 March 2022 5:40 pm

It really doesn’t matter who’s responsibilty it is. No complaint should be required. Enough staff and council walk by throughout the year to see it.The Town just needs to be a little more proactive to find a solution.

Tucker
Reply to  Bryan
16 March 2022 12:21 pm

Then what does the Council do?? I compare our Council to a Condo Corp. Board of Directors or Council in some provinces. The Board of Directors does just that, they make the decisions and direct the property manager to carry out those decisions, who in turn hires the appropriate people to finish the “job”. Our Council should be directing the Bylaw officers to do the “job”.

Bryan
Reply to  Tucker
16 March 2022 1:28 pm

Tucker:

The Municipal Act sets out that Council is responsible for policy, oversight and representing the residents. There is no provision for directing staff regarding the specific execution of the Town’s policies as approved by Council.

Council approves by-laws but can not direct how staff implements the by-laws or their enforcement.

Your comparison to a Condo board is appropriate in some cases but not in the main. A better comparison is a private sector business. In fact, both the Town and private sector corporations, being corporations, are governed by the Corporations Act.

The CAO is the ranking staff executive and is responsible for all operational activities of the Town. Council can only provide policy direction to the CAO, not the directors or managers.

Concerned
Reply to  Tucker
13 March 2022 1:37 pm

Has anyone actually reported it to the two person by-law team? That may actually help instead of just complaining.

Dave Chomitz
Reply to  Concerned
17 March 2022 11:59 am

Anyone have any idea what bylaw this property owner may be breaking ?

Denise Liboiron
Reply to  Tucker
14 March 2022 9:23 am

Port Hope has its merits with the pretty river and storefronts. Not as many stores to fill. Some nice shops and restaurants. Not as much variety of retail or restaurants. Don’t hear much about parking complains in Port Hope – don’t think they have “more” lots and there is only one spot in front of stores. Not more. Cobourg has beautiful Victoria Hall tourist attraction and a beautiful flower display in season to stroll and enjoy all the way to beach and marina and boardwalk and back. We have lots of parking – just not all of it is exactly in front of the store you want to go into. But almost one for each store front and plenty of lots close by. Not sure exact space count but never have I ever not had a parking spot downtown ever. Cobourg has so many lovely shops of all types – furniture, men’s and ladies wear, lingerie/bras, shoes, sports equipment, art, home decor, fabulous Grocer & fresh food market, pet store and pet supplies, organic options, specialty and artisan gifts, vintage apparel, records, “sundries”, drugstores, LCBO, health and wellness shops, spas, massage therapy, hair salons, barbers, Book stores, Kitchen Stores, Toy Stores, and services such as optometrists/eye glasses, dentists, lawyers, financial services, banks, insurance. We have stores devoted to bakeries, chocolates, ice cream shoppes, antiques and retro items, (and cannibus shops yes) restaurants offering so many types of food styles – lots of international options. There is thriving variety of almost all you could ever need right downtown in a vibrant atmosphere in the many cafes and outdoor patios in Cobourg in season. I actually have no idea at all how some of these comments can be made. Have any of these people actually walked around or checked any of the… Read more »

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Denise Liboiron
15 March 2022 12:52 pm

Many good points Denise. Your assertions about Cobourg are spot on. I love the continuity of knowing people I played with and they are still here and alive. I love the refreshment of new faces to Cobourg. Overall, Cobourg has become a retirement town for the pre-cemetery crowd. The energy level of Cobourg has declined somewhat, measured by the grumpiness of mediocre people. Cobourg has a vibrant theatre group, Northumberland Players. Otherwise the public domain in Cobourg is boring, compared to the manifest creativity in the public domain of Port Hope, eg, Critical Mass and others. Past Projects | Critical Mass (criticalmassart.com)We believe that art changes how we see the world and our place in it. We bring contemporary art experiences to Port Hope so that everyone in our community can have the opportunity to see the world anew.” Port Hope has become a place where the imagination and creativity is celebrated, whereas in Cobourg it is sequestered on the third floor. The Art Gallery of Northumberland did organize the painting of trash cans, but failed to publicize it, or even take a photo of the student artist beside their painted can. The Town failed miserably to carry off the painting of the Seven Feathers crosswalk. These failures can be attributed to admin types with zero training in cultural matters, whereas, in Port Hope, culture is created and run by artists themselves.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Tucker
14 March 2022 9:52 am

PORT HOPE happened at the efforts of Keven Narroway
He did there what Cobourg and Wendy Gibson would not allow him to do here
They also have a Mayor that invests in his own Neighbourhood .

What'sUpDoc
Reply to  Tucker
15 March 2022 12:03 pm

Once a year for several years i contacted the Mayor of the time and DBIA suggesting the doors to upstairs units on King Street be painted interesting colours – sort of like the postcards from Ireland. No action there!

Sandpiper
Reply to  cornbread
12 March 2022 1:11 pm

It happens every yr and its brought to our attention around the same time There is a turn over of many businesses and business closures Its hard to survive in a seasonal town core now that we have options to shopping like on line and affordable Box stores
This has been taking place for well over a Decade now . Parking is an issue for many
Just think of the parking problems that we will have now that the
Parking lot by the Post office and the Quigley parking lot by Town Hall has been sold .?????
Planning ?????

ben
Reply to  Sandpiper
13 March 2022 9:38 am

Get your facts right in this comment. The lost parking in the Queen St lot is going to be part of the condo parking and the Quigley lot has never been a Town property for us to use just pocket money for the developers.

As pointed out before Covert St could have been a multi-storey garage but it never happened due to then DBIA intransigence and the Town had the opportunity, years ago, to buy the Quigley lot but animus between the then Mayor and the property owner prevented decent negotiations.

Planning has nothing to do with it!

Last edited 6 months ago by ben
JimT
Reply to  ben
14 March 2022 8:21 am

Thank you for reporting these informed insights into the facts behind the news reports.

Many of us would never be aware of them otherwise.

Bryan
Reply to  ben
14 March 2022 12:37 pm

Ben,

The Queen St lot (post office) will be used for condo parking AND the agreement provides for 64 public (paid) parking spots as Draper reported on March 15, 2021. “…One condition was that the developer include at least 64 parking spaces for public use which would replace those currently on the lot…..”

The Town rents three parking lots (Albert, Second, and Swayne Sts) for about $68K per year. Revenue for the rented lots is not specifically listed.

Total parking revenue is budgeted to be $660K in 2023. Net parking profit is projected to be about $310K. $91k is allocated to the parking reserve and $219K is transferred to parks/marina

Conor
Reply to  cornbread
13 March 2022 3:29 pm

Do you not think the overly aggressive parking rates might have something to do with this. You have an obsession with charging people to park. I am surprised that they don’t put parking meters on the 401 through Cobourg.

Informed
Reply to  Conor
13 March 2022 5:35 pm

I hope some of the money from parking offsets a small amount of the cost to operate and clean the beach . I have no problem with the parking rates.As close to user pay rates we will likely see without actually charging to use the beach