Collingwood hires consultant to find developer for iconic terminals

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“For a developer looking for a legacy project…I think the development community is going to be very interested in this,” says the KPMG representative

Vertical farming? Condominiums? Maybe a casino?

All of these options and more are on the table when it comes to redevelopment of the Collingwood grain terminals.

As part of a special council meeting held on Thursday, the council was introduced to representatives from KPMG Consulting, who have been hired by the city to advise on the redevelopment of the terminals.

KPMG will advise the city on procurement planning and project implementation of the future of the terminals and surrounding spit, and will work to source interested developers to transform Collingwood’s landmark into something new .

Once a developer is selected, KPMG will also assist the city in negotiations with that developer.

“We will go to the market to seek interested parties who have the capacity, the experience and perhaps most interestingly, share the same vision for the city in terms of what could happen with the project,” said Shawn Oakley of KPMG. in his presentation to the board.

Oakley said KPMG expects approval to issue a request for proposals (RFP) by April, with plans to select a preferred proponent by August 2022.

Com. Deb Doherty asked if developers who had contacted the city in the past with ideas for the terminals would be contacted again to see if they were still interested.

Oakley said groups that have been identified over the years as interested parties in the terminals will be alerted.

Com. Mariane McLeod inquired about the current interest expressed by the development community.

“Do you expect 20 supporters to come up with plans to save this thing?” she asked.

Oakley referenced growth in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach in StatsCan report released yesterday.

“We see it in demand. We have seen some of the beautiful projects being built in shipyards. It’s no secret that there is less housing than there is demand in the Collingwood market right now, and it’s a very unique site,” Oakley said.

“For a developer looking for a legacy project…I think the development community is going to be very interested in this project,” he said.

“So everything’s on the table, at this point?” McLeod asked.

“We’ve heard creative ideas, whether it’s vertical farming, condos or a casino,” Oakley said. “That’s the whole point of going through this process.”

Oakley said KPMG will ask interested developers to have a good understanding of the vision for the city, while sharing their own visions for the site.

“Through that, I think we’re going to see some pretty cool ideas,” he said. “We are not going to seek to limit the market in terms of creativity.”

Margaret Mooy, who sits on the board of the Collingwood Terminals and Harbor Action Group, spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting to share her thoughts on the length of the process.

“While I’m glad progress is being made, I’m also concerned about how long it’s taken to get to this point,” Mooy said. “I am really concerned that the city itself is not meeting ownership standards on this building.

“It’s in the heritage district, but nothing has been done for years. This is negligent demolition, in my personal opinion,” she added.

Com. Yvonne Hamlin asked the consultant if he would make any recommendations on preventative work that should be done on the terminals while a selected developer progresses through the planning process.

“Yes, absolutely. Part of the negotiation process and detailed design work will be to identify areas of the building that should be retained and in what form, and who is going to pay for what,” Oakley said, noting that after the choice of developer, it could take 12 months or more before the design plans are approved and the shovels could be in the ground.

According to the staff report received as part of the special meeting, KPMG was selected through a competitive bidding process that was reviewed by the city’s equity monitor.

Amanda Pegg, executive director of business and client services, confirmed to CollingwoodToday.ca that the city will pay $301,610 exclusive of HST to KPMG Consulting for their work on the case.

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