In my last post I detailed a very real scenario in which instead of the “Hole” we could have ended up with a half built “White Elephant” instead.
It’s been a popular talking point around town for years that current Mayoralty candidate Chris Carrier as a tool of VOTE was completely responsible for the building on the corner of Hume and Hurontario to not proceed. Assaff in his self serving letter to council in April detailed that point here:
That popular mind set by those whose political purposes it serves, is a good story but the facts speak very clearly for themselves. Rick Crouch who knows infinitely more about these things than myself posted the following comment on my last post:
I believe the scenario you have outlined in your blog post is a very realistic one. For those of us that were around, we remember the Sunset Cove building off the Pretty River Parkway that was an on again off again project with two or three false starts that stretched over several years. The Riverwalk condo building in Thornbury was another one that I am intimately familiar with. It started in 2000/2001 and over five years later I was selling units (some unfinished) on behalf of two mortgage holders as the developer was long gone. That building is only 34 units not the 100+ planned for Admiral Collingwood..
In my latest blog I have summarized Collingwood’s condo sales over a number of years while the Admiral Collingwood controversy raged. See: http://anewcollingwood.blogspot.ca/ Was it a depressed economy and or real estate market that killed this project? You be the judge.
OMB appeal and construction delays aside, I believe that to a large part, this project failed to get off the ground due to the simple fact that the product offered was not what consumers wanted. Let’s not forget the Shipyards either. It too ground to halt. In most people’s eyes it offers a more desirable location but aesthetically failed to ignite much passion with Buyers.
As a person running for Council whether it’s residential or commercial, I am pro-development as much as anyone. We must however evaluate each opportunity on the merit of the project itself versus who the developer is. Development must fit the community, is that not the whole reason behind an “Official Plan?” Our community has an identity. Our identity is made up of many components, our waterfront location, our residents, our main street, our cultural and recreational amenities and other attributes that has created the overall “lifestyle” that so many come here to enjoy. Collingwood does not have a monopoly on being a nice place to “Live, Work and Play.” Moving forward we need to balance and manage growth in such a way as to maintain the very reason people are drawn here to start with. Doing so will require thoughtful planning and decisions based on sound business judgement versus the partisan politics that have guided us for so many years.