City plans parkette for Five Points

The northeast corner of the Five Points intersection is showing signs of life following years as a vacant lot.
The City has announced it has entered into an agreement with Kevin Lowe of Rowe Properties Ltd. to create a temporary parkette on the site, which has been vacant since buildings damaged by a 2007 fire were demolished.
Firefighters from neighbouring communities joined Barrie firefighters to bring the blaze under control; the fire left nearly 40 people living in adjacent apartments homeless, destroyed business locations and caused about $6 million in damage.
At one time the site was home to the Wellington Hotel, an historic old building with ties to the early days of Barrie.
The new parkette is to be designed by City staff, and is expected to be treed and sodded, with flowers and a path.
“We are very pleased to have had entered into an initial lease term of 12 months with the option for renewal with the current landowner,” says Mayor Jeff Lehman. “The lease is temporary in the interim of the owner seeking an anchor tenant and future redevelopment of this prominent and strategically located parcel of land.”
The beautification project is yet another step in reviving the historic intersection in downtown Barrie.
The three-sided Simcoe Hotel underwent a façade renewal in recent years, and the Mady Centre for the performing Arts opened in September on the intersection’s southwest corner. The northeast corner was once the site of a Sam the Record Man store, but that was destroyed by fire in 1994. The site is now home to a patio connected to the At The Five bistro and lounge.
A strategic municipal goal for the site remains its redevelopment, not as an urban parkette. In the interim, however, preparations are being made to rework the site, with a staff report expected in the coming weeks to outline design details and estimated costs. The timeline is for the parkette to be developed next spring.

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