Brantford City Council endorsed a bylaw directing the City to enter into an agreement of purchase of sale of the lands informally known as “Colborne Point” with Vrancor Group during their regular council meeting on Tuesday, August 29, 2023.
Colborne Point is located at the corner of Colborne Street and Icomm Drive on the south side of Colborne Street, adjacent to the Laurier/YMCA athletic facility.
Recognized as a high-profile site and a natural gateway to the heart of the city, the development of “Colborne Point” is a vital part of the ongoing revitalization of Brantford’s downtown. Unique advantages such as the prominence of the site, as well as the scenic views afforded of the river lend themselves to a premium architectural development.
The comprehensive process to have the site acquired began when the City extended an invitation to submit expressions of interest (EOI) for the acquisition and redevelopment of the site.
Consistent with the City’s Official Plan, development proposals were encouraged to be in the form of mixed-use buildings, residential buildings, retail and commercial spaces, offices, institutional buildings, public space(s) and recreational/ entertainment uses.
During the EOI process, a series of proposals were considered and thoroughly vetted by an Evaluation Committee consisting of the Mayor, both Ward 5 Councillors, the Chief Administrative Officer, the General Manager of Public Works, and the General Manager of Community Development, with support from the Purchasing Division and Legal and Real Estate Services.
In order to accommodate a revitalized, vibrant, and walkable downtown, the Evaluation Committee assessed how architectural concept submissions took into consideration pedestrian safety, streetscape and façade improvements, landscaping, suitable parking facilities, lighting, access to trails and the Grand River, and open spaces.
Consistent with the City’s Official Plan, proposals were also evaluated based on how development would seamlessly integrate into the surrounding district, make the best use of the site in terms of diversity of use and intensification, and serve as a gateway focal point encompassing public space(s) and unique identifying features. The Evaluation Committee also took great attention to ensuring alignment with the right partner who shares the City’s vision for the property.
The Vrancor Group conceptual submission selected by the Evaluation Committee estimates the site will have a gross floor area (GFA) of 435,0000 square feet, resulting in a minimum of 300 residential rental units, 24,000 square feet of ground floor commercial area and on-site parking. The public spaces include a courtyard and a commercial and river-view terrace.
The City expects that the agreement of sale will be finalized and signed by both parties over the next month, and that the sale is intended to close in 2024.