The public will have a chance to see plans for a mixed-use development at the former Barrie Central Collegiate site in downtown Barrie during a meeting tonight at city hall.
The former high-school site, which also includes Red Storey Field in the area of Dunlop and Bradford streets, is being looked as the location for three apartment buildings containing a total of 600 units.
Tuesday night's meeting in the Barrie City Hall Rotunda on Collier Street will include an opportunity for residents to ask questions and get informed about HIP Developments' proposed 10- to 20-storey buildings at 34-50 Bradford St.
Mayor Jeff Lehman told BarrieToday that he believes the site’s development is being anticipated by many people in the city and the proposal brings more than just much-needed residential units for people to live in downtown.
“I think with the demolition of Barrie Central, everyone in Barrie is eager to see the site redeveloped,” Lehman said. “The 600 units here will definitely help provide more residents in our core, which is customers for our shops and services.
"Busy streets are safer streets and more people living in and around our downtown is the single best thing we can do to ensure the long term strength of our core," the mayor added.
YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka is also working on plans to build a new facility at the site, which could bring between 1,200 and 1,500 to the downtown everyday.
Tonight's meeting will be the first of many for people to ask receive more information, but it also allows the developer to hear what the community wants. That input could be included in the plans Waterloo-based HIP Developments brings to the city.
A representative from HIP Developments could not be reached for comment today.
In a previous interview with BarrieToday, HIP Developments president Scott Higgins said: "The redeveloped (Barrie Central) site will remain a very important flagship in downtown Barrie and we are very pleased to be a part of it."
Lehman told BarrieToday that while he needs to hear more about the proposal, the developer’s reputation is a good sign for the community.
“This is the first look at the development and I will be interested to see what public comments are,” he said. “It's only the beginning of the process, but this is a solid developer with a track record of good projects in cities similar to Barrie, such as Cambridge and Guelph.”
Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 p.m.