Kingston-based developer looking to sell historic dry-dock property

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A Kingston developer seems to be abandoning plans to re-develop the historic dry-dock property. A giant "for-sale" sign has been placed on the prime waterfront lot at 55 Ontario Street. Paul Soucy spoke with the developer today on why he wants to unload the property just 3 years after buying it – Feb 19, 2019

It’s been nearly three years since anyone has toured the former Great Lakes Marine Museum. Now, the only tours taking place will be from those looking to buy 55 Ontario St.

“We had two unsolicited offers on the lands in the last little while,” said Kingston developer Jay Patry. “So we’re looking at all of our options.”

Patry bought the property three years ago with the intent to build a 20-storey residential tower. Now he says there’s a two-thirds chance he’ll sell the parcel of land. But he admits the outside interest isn’t the only reason he’s listed it.

“A mix of things (is) being held up for zoning,” Patry said.

“In general, it can sometimes be tough to get everything through all the different levels of government here.”

READ MORE: 20-storey waterfront tower proposal elicits heated response from neighbours

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The site is considered a brownfield and would cost millions of dollars to remediate, something that would cut into profits for any developer.

“I think it does have its challenges,” said Kingston mayor Bryan Paterson. “That’s something we’ve seen over the past number of years.”

The City of Kingston had offered to cover some of those costs in exchange for the Great Lakes Marine Museum being kept on as a tenant. That deal, however, was never struck.

Paterson is adamant he wants to see something developed on the site, but he felt Patry’s plan for nearly 300 units was too dense for the area.

“Not every development proposal is always going to work,” he said. “But there’s certainly, for anybody who’s willing to work with us to be able to (come to a) compromise and come up with exciting buildings that look great — that’s something we’re always willing to explore.”

READ MORE: Kingston developer faces criticism over bold vision to redevelop old Davis Tannery property

Paterson added that any new proposals would also need to be in line with the city’s vision for the waterfront.

The listing, which was posted last week, has generated more interest.

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“The property is being marketed on an international basis.,” Peter Kostogiannis said. He’s one of the realtors listed on the for sale sign.

“We have significant interest from numerous prospective buyers which we anticipate will result in a sale,” he added.

But so far, additional offers have been tendered.

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