Stop the presses – Admiral Collingwood Place developer, Steve Assaff, announced last night that he is shelving the controversial project in its current form.
Since 2007, the project has been approved, changed, changed again and has been divisive in the community. At issue was the proposed height of the commercial-residential development as it was not in keeping with the heritage district policies of the Town. Personally, I have been strenuously opposed to the plan due to the height and density which was simply not in keeping with the 19th century downtown Heritage District. While much sympathy has been expressed for the developer in the past, I have to point out that, had he complied with the HCD guidelines in the first place when he bought the property, it would long have been built, occupied and generating taxes and jobs.
Over the years, I think we have all gotten so used to seeing the hole in the ground at the corner of Hume and Hurontario that we’ve almost forgotten how unsightly and unwelcoming that corner has been. When I show property to people here from out of the area, it always raises questions and rightly so.
According to an article in today’s online edition of the Enterprise-Bulletin, the developer now plans to build a large, two storey, commercial development on the site. Let’s hope it has a great heritage design that will turn the tide from division to collective pride.
Collingwood’s downtown was the first heritage district to be listed in the Canadian Register of Historic Places.