Parcel of land in need of a developer in Saint Andrews

·3 min read

A 12-acre parcel of land owned by Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre could soon be in search of a developer.

The Saint Andrews-based community organization is putting together a request for proposal (RFP) to gauge development interest in its Two Meadows Trail property, off of Joes Point Road, according to a briefing note submitted to Saint Andrews council.

The property, which was purchased by Sunbury Shores in 1966, has been "used inconsistently over the years," said its executive director Angela McLean. A trail, which was built on the property by the non-profit, used to be maintained by volunteers, she added, but due to lack of resources and maintenance, it is now in a "state of disrepair." She also noted that there's a "very serious problem" with fire ants on the property.

Sunbury Shores – Canada's oldest arts and nature centre – doesn't have the funds to develop the land itself, but it wants to hopefully partner with a developer to make use of the property, according to the briefing.

McLean said Sunbury Shores requires more space to expand its activities and operations apart from its existing Water Street gallery and studio, and if it can find the right developer for the property, a multi-use facility could be created, allowing the arts and nature centre to have some space for its activities.

"We're looking for a partner to help us," she said. "We do require more space for activities that we want to do."

McLean said it's too early to tell what a developer might be interested in building on the property, but it could be anything from housing and commercial through to tourism-related purposes, depending on what ideas developers bring to the table.

She said there is no fixed timeline for when the RFP will be made public nor when the development could be built, but any future development will have to meet "gold-level environmental standards, possibly maintaining a trail, done in an environmentally friendly manner."

The idea to develop the Two Meadows property came up as the organization has a new strategic plan and a new board, said McLean.

Saint Andrews Mayor Brad Henderson said he is looking forward to the proposal, and he's open to proposals from anyone that wants to invest in the community.

He said the town is in need of some housing developments to increase the rental inventory amidst the ongoing housing crisis, but he is also aware of the fact that the property is a "green space" and due diligence needs to be done through speaking with the public.

He added that in order for this project to become a reality, the organization will first have to find a developer to respond to its RFP, and details like height, dimensions and use will need to be discussed.

He said he'd like to find out if the property in question is in an "environmentally sensitive area."

The property is adjacent to the Algonquin golf course, Henderson noted, adding he would also like to hear from them and the other neighbours if construction is proposed.

"But it would be a little preliminary to do that because they are just doing a call for proposals right now," he said, "so we really don't know what it is particularly that they are looking to potentially do."

Rhythm Rathi, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal