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

What’s Happening Downtown Cobourg – Jan 2022

Not all properties for sale or rent in Cobourg’s Downtown are listed on MLS but after searching the Internet and looking at information on the Town’s Economic Development page, I have a list.  Listings on the Internet may be misleading since some properties are now off the market (sold or withdrawn) and if a building is for sale, it does not mean the tenant is moving or changing.  However from the available information we can get an indication of what’s happening Downtown.  Real Estate is sold through Real Estate Agents but Cobourg’s Economic Development Department actively helps – the list below indicates which ones they help with.  Also shown is which Agent should be contacted.  Where available, I’ve also provided… Read complete articleWhat’s Happening Downtown Cobourg – Jan 2022

Demolition by Neglect

An architectural gem that is gradually being demolished by neglect is the property on King Street East known as Sidbrook.  It has been empty since 2002 and is in bad shape.  Efforts to force owners to keep it in good repair have gone nowhere  – see link below to my report in 2018 on “Stopping Demolition by Neglect”.  But now, there is another example and Council made it clear that they have no sympathy for owners who try to demolish by neglect.  At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) Meeting on Monday December 6, the owner of the property at 93 Albert Street asked the Town for permission to demolish the building because it’s in really bad shape but the… Read complete articleDemolition by Neglect

Licensing Airbnb in Cobourg

At the Council meeting on June 28, 2021, Cobourg resident Anne-Marie Jackson complained about problems from an Airbnb establishment on Blake Street.  She had concerns about parking, parties with loud and disruptive guests, drug and criminal activity  (and as a result, increased police activity) and noise. Complaints to Airbnb went unanswered.  She also included a petition from 35 residents.  As a result, Council directed staff to investigate regulating Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) and present their report at the November 15 Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting.  The Agenda for the October 25 CoW meeting includes this report – it’s early!  Staff reviewed the options and recommend both a revision of the Zoning By-Law and the establishment of a requirement to license… Read complete articleLicensing Airbnb in Cobourg

Tannery Master Plan once again before Council

The Tannery Project has a long history.  The property at the north end of George and near the railway line originally was home to a factory for James Crossen to build railway carriages and subsequently as a place for tanning hides – hence the name.  But the building was abandoned and the Town eventually took ownership because of unpaid taxes and tried several times to ask developers to take it on (see Stephen Peacock’s background report in links below).  This did not work so the Town expanded the scope and decided that the area should be subject to a CIP (Community Improvement Plan) and a secondary plan which mandates a residential sustainable development.  This too has been slow to be… Read complete articleTannery Master Plan once again before Council