The developer who wants to erect a disfiguring 7 storey condo in the middle of Newmarket’s historic downtown has served repossession notices on the tenants of properties at 184-194 Main Street South (Lemon and Lime, the pizza place, Upper Crust Bakery etc) ordering them out by the end of March 2014 on the grounds that the buildings are to be demolished to make way for the huge new apartment block.

The owner, Main Street Clock Inc, (aka the Forrest Group) is terminating the lease, citing demolition and redevelopment as a reason, even though there is no certainty the Council will give approval to demolish.

On 26 August the Town adopted a by law designating Lower Main Street South as a Heritage Conservation District. Final approval of the by law is expected on 21 October 2013. At that stage notices will go out to property owners in the district giving them the opportunity to appeal against the designation.

Once the by law is fully in place, Council approval is required for demolition within the district’s boundaries.

In a related move, Bob Forrest has now officially lodged his plan with the Town for the huge out-of-place condo which, at 269 metres, dwarfs the iconic old Post Office Tower.

(See the planning application's page on the Town's website and scroll to Main Street Clock Inc at bottom of page)

He has reverted to the original proposal for 150+ apartments in a seven storey building (Forrest claims it is six storeys). He has abandoned the plan to lower the height of the complex by extending it towards the Library. This would have encroached on Town owned land.

As it is, Forrest’s redevelopment proposal still requires Town owned land for the underground car park.

A report on the application will go before councillors on 25 November at the earliest.

There would also be a public meeting on the proposed redevelopment.

It seems to me the developer is desperate to get under the wire, evicting the small business tenants and demolishing the properties before all the controls and heritage safeguards are in place.

The future of some of the downtown’s most enterprising small businesses is in jeopardy.

Seems to me the developers are out of control.

Time to rein them in.

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