The Town of Midland Selects the Developer for the Midland Bay Landing Development

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Last evening, Council authorized the Mayor and Clerk to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with Mountain Ridge Estates Development Inc. (being an affiliate of Consar Building Corporation) for the development of the Midland Bay Landing Development on the shores of beautiful Midland Bay.

The lands are immediately adjacent to the downtown core of the Town and its public harbour and adjacent to existing residential neighbourhoods. The parcel has a water frontage of over 1,100 metres (3,600 feet) and an area of 16.24 hectares.

In 2012, the citizens of Midland together with Town launched an exercise to define the future of our waterfront. Over the course of 7 months, citizens were extensively engaged in public meetings, design charrettes, community workshops and on-line surveys. That discussion created a vision that was captured in the Waterfront Master Plan. In June 2013, the former Midland Council adopted the Waterfront Master Plan.

The residents of the community made Council fully aware of the importance of this site to the Town and to the future of Midland. In response, the Town of Midland acquired the site on July 15, 2014 for $3.4 million. Since that time, the Town has been looking for a private sector partner to implement the vision presented in the Master Plan and create a vibrant, active waterfront district on the shores of Georgian Bay in the heart of the Town.

The Town has now found that developer. Mountain Ridge Estates has been fully briefed on the plan and is committed to bringing the public vision for the waterfront into reality. Additionally, Mountain Ridge Estates will continue to work with the Town and citizens to ensure effective input through the detailed design phase and development process.

The implementation of the community’s vision for Midland’s Waterfront is now one huge step closer to becoming reality.

The Memorandum of Agreement with Mountain Ridge Estates Development Inc. provides that the developer will implement the citizen’s vision of the waterfront. In addition, they will remediate the lands at their cost (estimated at $600,000); they will re-pay the Town of Midland for the initial purchase of the lands being $3.4 million and they will construct all the Public Elements on the property for the Town, a value of no less than $11.6 million. The Public Elements will include the Waterfront Promenade (including the boardwalk and shoreline improvements), the docking facilities, the public park areas, the Amphitheatre and central water feature. The public lands, approximately 25% of the site, and all Public Elements will be owned by the municipality.

In return, the Town of Midland will sell the developer the private portions of the land and waive the Development Charges and Permit Fees for the private elements. The private elements will include the residential, commercial and institutional uses.

The Town is aware that all development projects entail risk. The Memorandum of Agreement includes significant measures to ensure that the Town of Midland is protected both legally and financially throughout the development of the site and that proper securities are in place.

“I am profoundly pleased that Council, staff and the public have brought us to this good decision. Over the next decade we will all build the new future of Midland. I am confident in the abilities of our developer, Mountain Ridge Estates. We will deliver on the people’s dream. ” said Gord McKay, Mayor of Midland. “We are extremely excited about the future of Midland’s waterfront lands.” says Mike Parker, V.P. of Sales for Mountain Ridge Estates. “We are honoured to have been given the opportunity to shape, and now implement the Town of Midland’s vision.” The public and the media are invited to the Official Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between Mountain Ridge Estates Development Inc. and the Town of Midland on Friday, March 20, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the Municipal Office.

For further information please contact Carolyn Tripp at 705-526-4275 x2201.



Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe (EDCNS)

The latest on the economic development front is the formation of the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe (EDCNS) in the summer of 2014. Midlandcommunity.ca is encouraged by the early momentum behind EDCNS and is optimistic about its prospects, but we reserve judgement until the organization has a chance to begin to produce results. For now, let’s take a look at what this new organization is all about.

EDCNS was formed as a collaboration of the four North Simcoe municipalities (Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny) and the County of Simcoe, leading to its incorporation in July 2014, formation of the Board of Directors, and the hiring of an Economic Development Officer.

Four of the eleven directors on the EDCNS Board are appointed by the municipalities, one is appointed from the North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation (which is a close partner of EDCNS) and six directors have been selected from the community at large based on their experience and other qualifications. As it happens, two of these community directors are also active participants in midlandcommunity.ca and will help keep our membership informed of economic development activities in the area. All members of the Board participate as volunteers without remuneration; the Economic Development Officer is the only paid employee.

The County of Simcoe provided the bulk of the seed funding for EDCNS, plus an additional contribution from each of the municipalities, and the total amount is enough to finance the organisation for two years of operations. Clearly, one of the activities in these first two years will be to establish funding models that will carry it forward indefinitely.

In its first six months, the not-for-profit corporation has updated its web site (EDCNS.ca, which will be re-launched soon), drafted most of its first business plan and is pursuing a number of new economic development opportunities in the area. It has also worked with the Tourism Action Plan Committee, which takes the lead on EDCNS tourism activities, in the creation and launch of its new marketing initiative. (See the attached press release for more details on that.) A synopsis of the EDCNS business plan will be posted on the web site when it is ready for public review.

The mandate of the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe is to lead business attraction, retention and expansion within the four municipalities. Fundamentally, it’s a marketing and facilitation organisation that promotes North Simcoe’s diverse economy and high quality of life. Specifically, it leads and facilitates targeted sector development, investment, capacity building, partnership, marketing and the management of market information for North Simcoe. It maintains a close relationship with and between the four municipalities and associated business development teams for the common benefit of all.

EDCNS advocates as “one voice” for all four municipalities to leverage funding & political support. By collaborating and sharing information, knowledge, and partnerships, it can identify and create business cases for funding applications around regional priorities (e.g. the Regional Airport, investment in infrastructure, etc.). The collaboration brings North Simcoe greater “critical mass” in its dealings – locally, with other levels of government, and with new business opportunities.

It’s too early to measure the achievements of EDCNS, but midlandcommunity.ca will keep its finger on the pulse of this new organization and will publish updates as its economic development initiatives move forward. We are eager and hopeful for its success and stand ready to help in any way we can.

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