Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Full Steam Ahead at the Shipyards

With all of the construction activity going on around the area including the reconstruction of Hurontario Street, the completion of First Street, exterior finishes to the new library, the revitalization of Heritage Park to name a few, none is a more welcome site than the Shipyards. After languishing as a weed infested "no man's land" for the better part of two decades, this much anticipated re-development of the former Collingwood shipbuilding site is really taking shape. Sales/interest in the project is obviously good given the number of units currently under construction.
In my opinion, the highlight of the development will be the waterside promenade that starts at the foot of Hurontario Street and follows along the former side-launch basin out into the harbour. This is sure to be a major draw to both residents and tourists alike creating a waterfront atmosphere that will inject some excitement into our downtown core.
If there is anything about this project that is a bit of a letdown it's the architecture. I've heard many comments about how uninspiring the buildings look on the outside with nothing to differentiate them from any run-of-the-mill condo development you might see in Mississauga or throughout the GTA. This is one of the common shortcomings that we often see throughout the area where both builders and in some cases individual homeowners build the wrong thing resulting in a product that lacks the characteristics buyers are looking for and can be difficult to sell. This is not an "urban" environment and many buyers looking to the area expect if not demand something different to match the lifestyle change they are making by coming here in the first place. In this day-and-age of computer aided design, a little human imagination could be expended to create something truly different and unique. In the case of the Shipyards, something perhaps with a bit of a nautical touch would remind us of the former role this property played in the history of Collingwood.
I do not profess to be an architectural guru but I often read the comments of Christopher Hume the architectural critic for the Toronto Star. Mr. Hume has been to and spoken in Collingwood, perhaps at some point we may here his comments further regarding this particular project.
There are currently 5 MLS® listed Shipyards units for sale and at least one unit with a private for sale sign. No doubt some of the early buyers are looking to flip their properties for a profit others may have just had a change of heart. Whatever your take, this will be a very successful development and a welcomed re-birth of Collingwood's long neglected waterfront.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.