The future redevelopment of the historic Memorial Arena and adjacent Legion in downtown Belleville, Ont., has been decided.
A decision was made and announced on Monday night at Belleville city hall.
Council has awarded the Memorial Arena project to Taskforce Engineering in a vote that was unanimous.
On Nov. 26, a special council meeting was held to hear four bids from developers, laying out their plans to redevelop the arena and Legion Hall 99 on Pinnacle Street.
Presentations were made by Taskforce Engineering, N Architecture Inc., Memorial Village Ltd. and RMS Holdings.
“It was heartbreaking for us,” says Joe Mancuso with RMS Holdings. “Our idea was to help grow the downtown and provide an anchor.
“Where people — not only residents, but also for tourists — will add to the trickle-down economics.”
Taskforce Engineering will now convert the 70-year-old Memorial Arena into a ground-floor retail concourse, creating a second floor that will house small businesses and office space.
The Legion, meanwhile, will be replaced with up to 24 affordable housing units.
“This is a good day for Belleville,” says Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk.
“This now allows us as city council to start planning the next stages of the Market Square redevelopment, as well as the land along the Moira River.”
Taskforce Engineering will pay the city a purchase price of $900,000 for both properties.
The final paperwork, permits and plans are still to be finalized.
Panciuk said it is hoped shovels will be in the ground within the next nine months, by fall of this year.