Site remediation for new Gilmore Lodge
The future site of Niagara Region’s redeveloped Gilmore Lodge. (Kris Dube/Special to Postmedia News)
A fenced-off area at the site of the future Gilmore Lodge facility is a symbol of the regional government making sure it is buying a quality product, says Fort Erie regional Coun. Sandy Annunziata.
Recently, a small portion of the 4.4-hectare property that will be the home of a relocated long-term care facility and other residential and mixed uses, has been blocked off for environmental site remediation.
At a cost of up to $250,000 that will be the responsibility of the sellers of the former County Fair Mall property, the work was deemed necessary when it was realized that a small gas station once existed at the same location, several decades ago.
Niagara Region announced in July that it had purchased the property for $4.2 million and that construction is planned to begin in 2019.
Earlier this week, Annunziata said the second phase of the environmental assessment is an example of the Region doing its due diligence.
“In order to finally close on that property, the Region requires a record of site condition that gives the property a clean bill of health,” said Annunziata.
“Any time you target a property, you want to make sure there are no challenges with it later on.”
The councillor said with the discovery of boreholes and contaminants, it was determined further environmental remediation was required.
“All hands indicated there was a gas station there,” said Annunziata.
Gilmore Lodge is one of three retirement homes in Niagara that must be redeveloped by 2025 to comply with new building standards handed down from the province. The other two facilities are Linhaven in St. Catharines and Upper Canada Lodge in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The County Fair Mall has been empty for more than four years. Built in the early 1970s, it was once home to an IGA grocery store, Zeller’s, Biway, a shoe store, a CD store, Shoppers Drug Mart and a movie theatre.