Mayor Paul Kelly and Gravenhurst councillors approved staff recommendations in Town Council on May 14 to re-enter negotiations with the province about the Muskoka Regional Centre property, according to a news release from the Town of Gravenhurst on May 16.
The original proposal by Maple Leaf Education Systems and Knightstone Capital Management to redevelop the property in 2017 was rejected. The province intended to place the property on the open market but began undertaking negotiations with another proponent that failed to come to fruition. Mayor Kelly said he feels council’s efforts to revive this process with the province have been heard.
“We’re pleased that they are ready to resume dialogue with us, and seriously explore the proposal from Maple Leaf Education Systems and Knightstone Capital Management to redevelop the Muskoka Regional Centre property in Gravenhurst,” Kelly said. “Council’s decision to continue on with the negotiation in this manner, gives the municipality the greatest level of control over the property, and it will ensure that our strategic goals of creating high end, year round employment in the area, as well as provide the community with additional benefits are met.”
Glen Davies, Town of Gravenhurst chief administrative officer, said that they have informed Infrastructure Ontario that the town is interested in continuing the process of brokering a deal between the Join Venture, the municipality and the province.
“Maple Leaf Schools intends to move forward with their original proposal to open a private international educational facility in Gravenhurst,” Davies said. “As the Mayor has indicated, this proposal best aligns with Council’s strategic goals.”
Davies said there will be more information and engagement with the community to come, but town staff are optimistic that they are again heading in the right direction.