Community Improvement Plan – Awards from 2021 Budget

It seems that Council believes that affordable housing requires that the Town provide subsidies by way of grants, loans and waiving fees.  The way to do this is to create a “Community Improvement Plan” directed at affordable housing.  After a consultant’s study and public meetings, such a plan was approved in November 2020 (see Resources below).  The process to implement it was then approved in June of 2021 and inputs were requested from developers to obtain the 2021 budget of $250,000.  An ad hoc committee was created to review the applications and at the CoW on 6 September, 2022 one recipient was finally approved:  Balder Corporation was awarded $248K in grants and loans.  This was ratified at the Regular Council… Read complete articleCommunity Improvement Plan – Awards from 2021 Budget

Fire Damage to 93 Albert Required it to be Demolished

On Friday July 15, there were two fires in Cobourg in houses up for sale (see reports by Today’s Northumberland in Resources below).  One was at 93 Albert whose owners were recently before Council asking for permission to demolish.  Staff had recommended demolition but some councillors (led by Emily Chorley and Nicole Beatty) felt that the building should be preserved for its heritage value and that it was simply a matter that it was not economic. The building had been abandoned since 2000 so it was described as being demolished by neglect – but Emily and Nicole were determined that the owners would not get away with this (even though the current owners only recently acquired the property). Mayor John… Read complete articleFire Damage to 93 Albert Required it to be Demolished

Northam Industrial Park – Status Q1, 2022

In March 2003, when the Mayor was Peter Delanty, the Town of Cobourg purchased Northam Industrial park with a loan (mortgage).  In March 2018, the full amount of $13,330,027 of this loan was repaid.  Over the period to date, the revenue earned has contributed to the Town’s operating and Capital Budgets – details below.  Each quarter, treasurer Ian Davey provides a report on the finances and the Q1 2022 report was provided at the CoW meeting on July 11.  Included in that report was some financial information not usually provided: the total contribution from the Park to the Town’s finances.  Some people have said that the Town should be run like a business and it’s clear that this is already… Read complete articleNortham Industrial Park – Status Q1, 2022

Queensview Development to Continue

In 2018, Council agreed to a deal where the parking lot at 36 Queen (opposite the Post Office) would be sold to a developer who would then build Condos that included public parking spaces as well as spaces for residents.  The original deal allowed the public parking spaces to be charged at a rate no more than twice Town rates.  The 5 storey condos would be “high end” with a roof top garden – see the presentation by the developer in resources below.  The time frame for this project expired due to Covid as well as planning department delays but the developer continued work on it.  At Monday’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Council agreed to an extension (which… Read complete articleQueensview Development to Continue

New Development – Albert and Division

In early 2021, a developer asked for permission for their plans for the Property at the southwest corner of Albert and Division.  They proposed two buildings – one on Division and the second smaller one on Albert.  On the ground floors, they plan seven commercial units (stores) facing Division and 3 “live/work” units facing Albert plus a total of 20 apartments on second and third floors.  A public meeting was held and a big concern was that there was insufficient parking – 28 spaces compared to a normal zoning requirement for 45.  At the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on Monday May 30, a revised proposal will be presented that has 35 parking spaces.  The new plan, which has… Read complete articleNew Development – Albert and Division

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… Read complete articleDowntown Commercial Property Update

Kraft Property Sold

The property once owned by Kraft has been sold – although subject to some unstated conditions.  Kraft closed operations in Cobourg in 2008 and sold the 64 acre property – it was bought in 2014 by a Cannabis company now called FSD Pharma who promised to create the world’s biggest indoor marijuana grow-op. This idea faded and FSD Pharma is now in the healthcare business and had no use for the large facility.  They listed it for $19.9M but it sold for $16.5M – that’s $258K/acre.  The new owner has not been named but seems legitimate since they have made a $660K deposit.  The deal is expected to close on May 31, 2022.  On the property is the Certo building… Read complete articleKraft Property Sold

Update on Brookside

At Monday’s Council meeting, MPP and Minister for the Environment David Piccini updated Council on a wide range of issues. He spoke about increased funding for the hospital and long term care homes as well as other items but the item of most interest was an update on Brookside. David reported that work on decommissioning Brookside has moved quickly and is now in stage three. That means that all equipment has been removed and both the Federal and Provincial Governments have declared they are not interested in taking over the property.  Stage three means that the “municipalities have first right of refusal and can express interest in the property”. The question now is: Who is going to buy it and… Read complete articleUpdate on Brookside

Staff Propose Licensing Developer Sales Trailers

When moderate sized developers want to sell their homes, they will often park trailers on their land then use them as model units, construction offices and/or sales offices.  Two Downtown examples are the failed development on the “Quigley Lot” at 202 Second Street and the failed development of expansion of the John Lee Jail property.  I’ve labelled them “failed” since there have been no units constructed at those sites.  But the trailers for those projects have overstayed their original purpose and citizens have complained about them – calling them an eyesore and “being a place for individuals to trespass and shelter”.  Staff have now proposed that these structures be licensed so that they can be managed and they will present… Read complete articleStaff Propose Licensing Developer Sales Trailers

New Plaza at 1025 Elgin

At Cobourg Council’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on January 24, the Planning Department will provide a Site Plan for a new plaza at 1025 Elgin Street immediately north of Staples – that’s adjacent to the A & W already there – see the simplified diagram below.  According to documents on the Town’s web site, three tenants have already signed leases: Mary Brown’s Chicken, Fat Bastard Burritos and Fire and Flower (another Cannabis Store – but not yet approved).  You have to wonder if Cobourg needs more restaurants and cannabis stores although no doubt the potential owners are looking past the current Covid restrictions.  No public meeting will be held or is required. The location is adjacent to the Mall… Read complete articleNew Plaza at 1025 Elgin

Sidbrook, Brookside and 93 Albert

There are now at least three Heritage buildings in Cobourg which their owners may be trying to demolish by neglect although hopefully the owners of Brookside (the Province) will move quickly to dispel this possibility.  In a letter to Council, Keith Oliver raises the issue – details below.  Separately, at Monday’s Council meeting, Councillor Adam Bureau gives notice of a motion to ask the Province to use Brookside as a winter homeless shelter.  If that happened, then at least minimum maintenance would be done on Brookside.  If the Province is slow to act and heat is not provided, then it could quickly get to a similar state as Sidbrook – see video below. But it seems to me that the… Read complete articleSidbrook, Brookside and 93 Albert