Town releases details on offer to purchase Waterloo building and other proposals received

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In a media release issued today, November 29, 2017, the Town of Huntsville revealed details of Council’s decision to declare the Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment (WSCE) building and its parking lot surplus to the municipality’s needs. (Click here to see a PDF that includes a map of the subject lands.)

De Novo Trust Fund was the successful bidder on a Request for Proposal (RFP) that was released by the Town on July 27, 2017. At its November 27 meeting, Council accepted an offer from De Novo Trust Fund in the amount of $3,905,000. The additional lands surrounding those identified will continue to remain under the ownership of the Town of Huntsville.

The De Novo Trust Fund proposal said that it would operate the building as a rehabilitation centre, assisting individuals to recover from alcohol and substance abuse.

“This term of Council has been striving to fund existing capital plans that include all of our Municipal Assets. As part of this process, decisions have been made to dispose of municipal assets that are surplus to the municipality’s needs so that the ratepayers of Huntsville do not continue to fund these assets for future replacement,” Mayor Scott Aitchison was quoted in the release. “De Novo Trust Fund will be a great addition to our community as we continue to focus on strengthening access to healthcare in our area.”

The staff report included with the release recommended that Council not make a decision on how to allocate the proceeds from the sale until after the sale is complete and staff bring back options. The funds will be set aside in a reserve account for Council to address at a later date.

As part of the disposition of land process, the Town of Huntsville is welcoming comments from the public regarding the proposed disposition and use of the Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment.  Written comments regarding the proposed disposition are to be sent to Crystal Best-Sararas, Deputy Clerk, 37 Main Street East, Huntsville ON P1H 1A1, no later than noon on December 14, 2017.

The summary of public comments received during the comment period and disposition of land By-law will come before Council for consideration at its regular meeting to be held on December 19, 2017 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber, 37 Main Street East, Huntsville.

Summary of RFP responses:

Five submissions were received in the RFP process with three offers to purchase and two offers to lease — see a summary below — which the evaluation committee assessed using different criteria for the purchase and lease options.

De Novo Trust Fund (Rehabilitation Centre – alcohol and substance abuse centre for male construction workers)

  • Purchase WSCE for $3,905,000
  • Provisional item to purchase additional land for $200,000

Tulloch Engineering (Engineering Firm – Head Office)

  • Purchase Price of $2,725,000 (includes the building and suitable amount of land surrounding the building)

Brainworks and 2126555 Ontario Inc. (Centre of Excellence for healthcare, rehabilitation and innovation)

  • Purchase price = $1,250,000

Well Centre (Health Service Centre providing patient-centred care)

  • Proposing to cover all operating and capital costs for the term of the lease
  • Will not pay rent in year one but will pay rent for the remaining term of the lease (Year 2-5 = $159,584/year)
  • Proposal to enter into a 10 year lease with the option to purchase after 5 years

Accelerate Muskoka (AM) and Muskoka Language International (MLI) (Innovation and Education Centre)

  • Proposing to cover all operating and capital costs for the term of the lease
  • AM/MLI will give the Town 2% of the profits generated by the Seed Fund at no cost to the Town
  • Proposing a 10 year lease with a 10 year renewal
  • Would be interested in an option to purchase the property at fair market value after the first 10 years

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8 Comments

  1. “Council accepted offer from De Novo Trust Fund in the anount of $3,905,000”? Further in this press release it states that the Town of Huntsville is welcoming comments from the public. Is this after the fact? One wonders why Council accepted the offer and then says it welcomes public input. In other words a done deal?
    Was this property advertised for sale in Toronto, a booming real estate market that is aggressively moving north? This is major prime real estate. Since the town is not in the real estate business, who was the realtor of choice? Did this building not have a much bigger construction price than $3,905,000?
    Yes, I will submit comments to the Deputy Clerk.

  2. I am unclear as to why the building was sold without it being open to the public to buy it? Was it ever really listed as a property for sale, as I didn’t see a sign stating that. Are we not losing a significant amount of money from a sale of a building and prime land, for less than market value? And why was the last submission for the language school dismissed as it was going to lease for 10 years at market value and then buy potentially at market value? There would be no loss on that application of value and the added value for bringing students and their international families for visits to Huntsville has a much bigger reach to benefit the entire community. I think this is a hasty decision that is already done but now we get to comment. I too will be sending my comments to council.

  3. Elizabeth Rice - Doppler Publisher on

    Doppler has followed the contentious issue of the Waterloo building diligently. You can use the search bar found at the top right of every page to search ‘Waterloo’ and you will get a listing of the articles.
    Here are a few of the most recent links to get you started:
    https://doppleronline.ca/huntsville/town-expected-issue-rfp-waterloo-building-end-week/
    https://doppleronline.ca/huntsville/will-waterloo-sold-leased/
    https://doppleronline.ca/huntsville/town-pursue-offer-purchase-waterloo-building/

  4. Seems council is selling out the town. The empty 1/2 acre empire lot is 1.1 million and they are going to sell 17 acres with a 10 million dollar building on it for 3.9. Although the Well Center bid does not bring in revenue for the first year they are will to cover all operating costs (the albatross) and the town maintains control over the asset and what the building will be used for. The town also would have the much needed health services provided by that proposal. Disappointing outcome for a building built with “our” tax dollars.

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