Sidney council seeks to renegotiate purchase agreement to downtown properties

Town and Fire Hall Development agree to explore renegotiating an already approved development

The Town of Sidney and Fire Hall Development Ltd., the developer and purchaser of the town’s current fire hall and Third Street parking lot, have agreed to look at redesigning the already approved development.

The site is downtown at the corner of Sidney Avenue and Third.

Sidney’s new council has asked the developer to consider reducing the scale and massing of the previously approved six-storey development. This will necessitate renegotiating the purchase agreement that was approved by the previous council.

Also read: Development at Fire Hall site lurches forward

Councillors have requested a redesign of the mixed-use project, which is to be ground-floor commercial space with residential condominium units above it.

They have also asked for the developer to ensure better compliance with the town’s parking and loading bylaws. This refers to the required number of residential and commercial parking spaces attached to the new development.

Moreover, the developer is being asked to keep the existing public parking spaces as part of the venture.

In 2018, the previous council selected Fire Hall Development, through a request for expressions of interest process, to purchase the downtown properties, owned by Sidney council, at 9837 and 9821 Third Street and 2477 Sidney Avenue for approximately $9.9 million.

The previous council approved a development permit and development variance permit to develop the properties.

However, the current council’s representatives decided the size of the re-development should be limited after speaking to voters during last October’s election. Citizens expressed a desire to see more parking spaces as part of the overall plan.

The council and developers have worked together to create a memorandum of understanding that details how the town and the developer will “diligently and in good faith” work on a revision to the project design and purchase agreement.

A key understanding highlighted in the document is that the parties are both bound by the current purchase agreement and development permit. If they are unable to negotiate a mutually acceptable project design and purchase price, the original proposal and land transaction will continue as planned.

Nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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