Breslau’s community centre expanded this week, an extra 7,500 square feet for the bargain-basement price of $2.
Completing a deal made in 2006, Empire Communities turned over to the township the sales centre at its Riverland subdivision, built with that purpose in mind. The move comes a few years sooner than expected, as strong sales drove the build-out of phase one of the development. That in turn allowed for the transfer formally acknowledged at Woolwich council Monday night.
“Today we fulfill our promise,” company vice-president Paul Golini told councillors, explaining that the deal made in 2006 was the result of some outside-the-box thinking.
In keeping with traditional practice, the company had planned to build its sales centre on Woolwich Street to capitalize on the high visibility. Once the subdivision in Breslau’s south end was completed, the sales building would have been torn down, he noted.
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Instead, prompted by then-director of engineering and planning Dave Gosnay, a more functional building was constructed adjacent to the park. That 3,600 sq. ft structure – with a basement that essentially doubles the usable space – was designed to be turned over to the township to serve as much-needed community centre for the growing village.
Under the agreement with Empire, the sales centre was be turned over to the township for $2 when the subdivision was 80 per cent sold or by 2017.
Because the building was slated for long-term use rather than demolition, Empire Communities opted to build larger – doubling the intended size – and to provide a finished basement, additional washrooms and storage space. Even as the sales centre operated, Woolwich began in July 2009 to put a 10,000-sq.-ft. addition onto the building. That $2.2-million project, which included gymnasium space, had its official opening in March 2010.
Now, with the entire building in township hands, Woolwich plans to consult with community members about how to best make use of the newly-acquired space. Residents are encouraged to make suggestions to the township.
“With the transfer of the sales centre in Breslau, the township is excited about the possible opportunities that exist for future community uses,” said Mayor Todd Cowan in a statement.