Barrie one step closer to finalizing land-swap deal, acquiring W.A. Fisher Auditorium

The main entrance to Barrie City Hall. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

The city of Barrie is one step closer to finalizing a land-swap deal with HIP Developments, which would see the city acquire W.A. Fisher Auditorium.

At Monday evening’s general committee meeting, Barrie city council gave initial approval to remove conditions related to the purchase and sale with HIP Developments.

The deal would have the city sell 1.465 hectares of land at Red Storey field, and 0.215 hectares of land along Bradford Street to HIP Developments, in exchange for 1.78 hectares of land including W.A. Fisher Auditorium.

The conditions relate to species at risk and their habitat, proper zoning, sufficient access to and from the property, soil conditions and environmental and archaeological assessments.

Now that Barrie city council has given initial approval to remove the conditions, the motion will be up for final approval at next week’s city council meeting.

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If the deal goes through, the city has plans to reconstruct W.A. Fisher Auditorium into a 650-seat theatre and a 400-seat event centre. The project is expected to cost approximately $25.6 million.

The city is also looking to develop the land near High Street and Dunlop Street into a new downtown YMCA.

If the deal is approved, HIP Developments has plans to develop the land along Bradford Street into residential buildings.

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