Town of Cobourg Requesting Proposals to Purchase and Develop Lands for Housing

In City Hall

The Town of Cobourg has issued a Request for Proposal, seeking qualified applicants to purchase and develop lands for housing at 117 Durham Street, known locally as the former CDCI West High School football field.

The subject property at 117 Durham Street consists of approximately 1.29 hectares (3.18 acres) of vacant land. The Town of Cobourg purchased the property in 2022. The primary objective of the call for proposal is to recuperate costs from the purchase of the property and to address the housing crisis in the Town of Cobourg. The subject lands are designated Major Institutional, with the shoreline area designated as an Environmental Constraint Area. Major Institutional areas can be redeveloped for residential use once the institutional use ceases to operate.

In 2023, Council passed a resolution regarding the future use of the property, directing that the lands be a balanced mix of parkland, market and affordable residential units. The waterfront, boardwalk, open space and public parkland provided as part of the future development will remain in public ownership. Guidance on the developable limit has been informed by an Environmental Impact Study completed in February 2024.

Preference will be given to applications that incorporate the widest range of built forms, unit sizes, a variety of building heights (between one and six storeys) and provided appropriate due diligence of engineering considerations has taken place. While there may be policy support for up to six storeys, the proponent’s proposal must be sensitive to the surrounding neighbourhood. Densities and heights will be guided and limited by the findings of the technical studies. Future Planning Act applications, including a Zoning By-law Amendment will be required.
Respecting the Town of Cobourg’s strategic initiatives and approved master plans, the RFP requests the following details be included in development proposals:

Accessible Design Features:
Description of how the proposed development plan will comply with AODA and how the development project will advance the objectives related to providing increased accessibility of Ontarians with disabilities. Proponents are encouraged to include barrier-free units with accessible features. Preference will be given to a development that obtains or is committed to working toward Rick Hansen certification.

Green and Sustainable Development Measures:
Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals/designs that maximize the achievable reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions relative to minimum requirements (i.e. meet or exceed current National Energy Code and Ontario Building Code requirements for new construction).
While the Town of Cobourg has not introduced a Green Development Standard, scoring will be allocated to projects that implement measures that would have the effect of meeting the
Town’s sustainability objectives.

Affordable Housing:
While the best communities are ones that provide the widest array of housing options and tenures, preference will be given to proposals that include units that will satisfy both the County of Northumberland and Town’s definition of affordable. Applicants proposing an affordable ownership model shall be asked to include a detailed outline and plan to set and regulate prices including time frame.

Community Information Session:
The Town of Cobourg planning department will host an in-person open house on Tuesday, March 26. The purpose of the Open House is to provide residents with information regarding
the objectives of the RFP and ways that the development project will address Cobourg’s housing crisis while maintaining the waterfront, boardwalk, and open spaces in public ownership. Comments and information shared during this session will form part of Staff and Council’s review of development concepts received as part of the proposal call.
Tuesday, March 26
Drop-in, 5pm – 7pm
Council Chambers, third floor, Victoria Hall, 55 King Street West.

Next Steps:
The RFP was issued on Friday, February 23, 2024 and will close on April 19. Following the receipt of a successful bid, detailed plans for the lands will come back to Council for review
and approval. The goal is to enter into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale subject to Conditions by July 2024 and site preparations and construction to begin prior to December 31, 2025. Following Council approval and prior to site preparations and construction, the applicant will be required to proceed through community engagement as outlined in the Planning Act.

For additional information on the RFP for 117 Durham Street, please see the Plans, Reports and Studies page on Cobourg.ca.
Interested applicants are encouraged to speak with the Town of Cobourg Planning Department at T: 905-372-1005 or planninginfo@cobourg.ca . The RFP documents can be found on the Town of Cobourg Bids and Tenders page on Cobourg.ca

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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