Ten years and three councils bring us to the point where Midland has selected a developer for the Midland Bay Landing site. Midland Bay Landing Development Corporation retained N. Barry Lyons Consultants, who evaluated the proposals after conducting an extensive search through a request for proposal process, supervised by a fairness monitor. The result, Georgian Communities was selected to enter discussions with Midland to develop the 40-acre waterfront site.
Georgian’s approach faithfully followed the publicly created master plan for the site and was the most financially rewarding for the municipality in terms of purchase price and paying for the development of the public spaces. Georgian is financially sound, is local, and known for their commitment to public engagement throughout the development process.
The development is not without dissenters. Some wish to retain it as a natural space yet ignore the fact that almost half the space must be fenced, under the direction of the Ministry of Environment, if not remediated. Others wish to develop the space into a parkland for use by residents. Estimates of the cost to do so range from $20,000,000 to $30,000,000. Other options have also been suggested each with their own, not insignificant costs. Many suggested uses limit accessibility of mobility challenged individuals.
The existing master plan has a multiuse space with housing, public spaces, commercial and institutional uses. The existing master plan forms a significant part of The Town’s Official Plan. https://www.midland.ca/Shared%20Documents/plan/Unimin%20Waterfront%20lands%20Master%20Plan.pdf The entire 3700-foot waterfront remains in public ownership as does 10 acres of the lands. Georgian is responsible for creating and paying for these public spaces while the public retains ownership. The waterfront from the water’s edge back 100 feet is the contemplated to have various pathways to accommodate different uses. One use, fishing the entire shoreline, from Midland Bay Landing Park from the base of William Street to David Onley Park at the base of King Street. Another, parking at Midland Bay Landing Park to visit with friends and enjoy the sunrise or sunset; your choice.
The selling price will not only repay the purchase price and operating costs to date, but also contribute significantly to rebuilding Town reserves. The site will generate jobs both during construction and post construction in businesses on site and in the Downtown. The site will create an increased assessment base, generating significant tax relief to residents and providing the wherewithal to create amenities throughout Midland. Residents will own a beautiful completely accessible space with public square, healing gardens, pedestrian ways, and more. Undoubtedly it will attract tourists as well as residents, looking to enjoy a beautiful, vibrant space. https://www.midland.ca/Pages/MBLDC.aspx
Stay tuned as the project unfolds and, be sure to attend the public meetings to express your thoughts on how the site should unfold!