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City buys several downtown Sudbury properties, eyes larger development

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Meeting Tuesday night, city council in Greater Sudbury voted to buy multiple properties downtown with an eye on a much larger development.

Mayor Paul Lefebvre said the decision was made to boost tourism and economic growth.

"We believe in our city, we believe in our future,” Lefebvre said.

“We believe in our downtown, so that’s why we are going ahead and making that investment.”

The $12 million price tag includes the Ledo Hotel and the buildings behind it.

The properties consist of a two-block radius across from the Sudbury Arena, and include businesses such as Alexandria's, the Dog House Sports Bar and Eatery, Old Rock Coffee and Golden Grain Bakery.

Golden Grain Bakery, which has a 91-year history in Sudbury, is family owned by three generations.

Co-owner John Andlar said he was approached by the city a number of months ago. While he's still trying to process the news, he views it as positive.

"It's taking a bit of time to process everything but I think this will be good for everybody and good for the community," Andlar said.

He said the bakery plans to close its doors sometime in December and will take some time to figure out what's next.

Downtown Sudbury co-chair Jeff MacIntyre said he's been in talks with other businesses and said they are looking at the opportunity involved in the decision.

The properties consist of a two-block radius across from the Sudbury Arena, and include businesses such as Alexandria's, the Dog House Sports Bar and Eatery, Old Rock Coffee and Golden Grain Bakery, pictured. (Amanda Hicks/CTV News)

"They're all very excited for what it means for the next step of their business and the next step of their careers," he said.

MacIntyre said the news is a long time coming.

"We've had developers kicking the tires of downtown Sudbury for the last 30 years waiting for the city to make a move. And waiting for the city to show they are serious about re-development in the downtown. This is the sign they're looking for," he said.

NO TIMELINE

City councillor Mike Parent said, while there is no timeline at this point, the plan is to demolish the buildings.

"They're all going to come down, to create a new canvas for us to be able to build off of in our downtown," he said. "We didn’t commit to timelines but we will move fairly aggressively once the buildings become ours."

Parent said what will come of the plaza is contingent on what is decided regarding the arena.

"I think once we make a decision on the arena, (that will help determine) next steps in terms of working with other developers or even local developers for how we build our downtown moving forward," he said.

As for cost, Parent said it is a wise investment.

"A lot of money today, yes. We now own this property, we will sell that property at some point, or at least a part of it, and recover taxes from it," he said.

"Moreso to increase tourism, the arts and culture, hopefully bring some new concerts, and economic development."

Parent said within a year's time, he anticipates all the buildings will be turned over to the city.

An update for the project will be presented in council in March 2024. 

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