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T-V-M Group developers have made an agreement with Cobourg  Legion to redevelop the Cobourg Legion Properties.  The Legion owns a large amount of land from Albert Street to south of Orr street and including much of the land from Hibernia to Durham.  It includes the Legion building and parking lots north and south of the building including a large lot south of Orr street and next to the Sifton-Cooke heritage Centre (The Barracks Museum).  The proposal  is to build a six storey building on this large parking lot with the top five floors being Condos and the ground floor being a new Legion Hall and facility.  There would be 59 Condo units altogether and they would feature full-accessibility.

map legion condosThe existing building would then be demolished to provide Legion parking.  Condo owners would presumably have parking underground.  At right is a map showing the approximate locations.

Amit Sofer, President of T-V-M Group presented his case to Council on Monday 23 September and already there are objections because the building will be "out of keeping with the Heritage district".  This despite the fact that the Legion building is hardly worth preserving and the Legion is in agreement with the idea. 

The adjacent Sifton-Cooke Centre is not against the idea -  right now their neighbour is a parking lot complete with a Hydro eyesore.  The Condo neighbours to the East are not against it in principle - subject to the design being compatible with nearby buildings.

Update

A rezoning was required to approve this project and according to Northumberland News  Mayor Gil Brocanier broke the split vote in favour of the project.

 

Update - October 14

According to John Hill, reporter for Small Town Radio 89.7FM, Cobourg's "Condo Market has collapsed" (see also Second Street article).  So John asked "will this development proceed"?

Update - October 24

 

Not everyone is happy with the new development.  Two issues have been raised: 1) it's a modern design adjacent to a heritage district and next door to the "Barracks" and the 2) the proposed building is too massive to fit into the neighbourhood.   Its height will be significantly higher than the white condos on third street and will tower over the red brick condos to their East.

But not everyone is unhappy either.

The current legion building is old and could do with a spruce up - with membership not exactly booming, this is a good way for the Legion to stay attractive and maybe get new members.   If the building is like others built nearby, it needs the six storeys to be economically viable.  So if the design is changed drastically, it might not get done at all, the Legion might fade and who knows what would get built there.

128-Durham400An article in Northumberland News interviewed Mark Good who owns the former Calcutt residence at 128 Durham street (photo right).  That's almost next door to the proposed development.  He said that his family does not believe the design of the project fits into the neighbourhood;

"It looked futuristic, it looked modern and there is nothing heritage about it at all," he said. "It's a nice building somewhere else but not in downtown Cobourg. I am an ex-veteran and belong to the Legion so I support them, but not six storeys. Three or maybe four storeys but not six."

But Mark admitted that the property "…is not in the heritage district but it has a significant impact on heritage district properties."

The Architectural Conservancy Ontario people (as represented by Malcolm Wardman) and the Sifton-Cooke Heritage Centre people (as represented by Keith Oliver) are not happy.

Wardman fears a modernistic six-storey building in the heritage district will create a precedent for others to follow.

Oliver says that the new building is so massive that it will overpower the Heritage centre next door.

If anything is "at fault", it is Cobourg's Official Plan which allows for buildings up to six storeys in this location.  Where were the complainers when the plan was approved?  Did they want a larger Heritage district?

Cobourg Internet (as represented by John Draper) lives in one of the nearby "red brick condos" referenced above.

 

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