Consar Fails To Deliver – Midland Bay Landing Project In Limbo
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According to a cheery (rainbows and unicorns) update from the Mayor this past week, the Midland Bay Landing development deal with Consar has officially been declared “dead”. This outcome was foretold by most of the community for years but the Mayor’s blind faith in his chosen developer, purported to be the only one who submitted a bid for the project, has resulted in wasted years and shaken faith in his competence. It was shortly after his announcement that he and the MBL committee had chosen Consar that simple internet searches turned up recent fraud convictions on the developer for failed waterfront developments in Simcoe County. The one is Collingwood is another victim of Consar. The mayor was approached by many in the community, including the Midland Mirror and shrugged off suggestions he had failed to do his “due diligence” (his favourite phrase next to “level best”) by awarding Midland’s largest and most important project to a man with recent and relevant criminal history. He uttered those now infamous words “we’re not all lily white”.
Well now that the chickens have come home to roost, is it any surprise that nobody, especially the Mayor will own this fiasco and simply has resorted to “spin” and “rhetoric” to try to sell Midlander’s on the possibilities of a do-over.
For our part, thank goodness! A do-over is exactly what we needed in this doomed deal. Too bad it cost us a couple years and who really knows how much financially since the true numbers from town hall are anything but reliable these days. Insiders say that the accounting is in shambles and the new treasurer is up to her ears in problems with how to reconcile numbers for the past few years. Are we really “ahead” of the game as the press release would lead us to believe? Who knows.
When we put this out for tender again, we hope to receive bids by reputable companies with finances in place, experience in these major projects and a proven track record. We and many in the community are left to wonder why only one “developer” – and we will use that term loosely, expressed interest in our waterfront property? That is assuming that we truly only had “one” bid. Our sources say that at least one other major player, with a proven track record and deep pockets approached the mayor about the project and was turned away. We have no source to cite so that company will not be published. There is also the possibility that our own local land developer Roy Ellis and his Vancouver partner Alvin Hui will save the day! They have experience with former coal dock development as we have discovered out in Nanaimo. Wouldn’t a local connection be wonderful and bring many things into focus for us.
Perhaps the land is so contaminated that no reputable developer will touch it? Perhaps our past deputy mayor Stephan Kramp’s predictions and warnings about the site and the project were right all along?
Time will tell. 2018 is an election year and the list of “reminders” for voters to consider when choosing a new council, keeps on growing.
With or without this council, Midland Bay Landing will become something good for Midland. Perhaps the contamination is destined to be remain undisturbed and a new waterfront park or feature will be considered over luxury housing that few locals can afford? Perhaps we will model ourselves after Orillia or Barrie’s public waterfronts instead of selling it off to wealthly out-of-towners for their exclusive use (other than a little trail for us common-folk to use to see how the other half live). If this is truly a “reset” like the Mayor says, let’s tear up the ridiculous Consar plans (that had underwater parking and hundreds of private elevators) and look at this again as a community. Council just sold off the MPUC, so money won’t be an issue for them. They can hold this debt for many years without it raising any taxes. Let’s get this right for our grand kids’ sakes!
Link to Town’s Press Release: http://www.midland.ca/Shared%20Documents/MR-TownHitsResetButtonOnMBL-April27-2017.pdf