Condo Development at “The Club” May Challenge Waterfront Condos

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Port Arthur Country ClubTHUNDER BAY – Editorial – The Thunder Bay Country Club is set to build condos alongside the club’s nine-hole golf course. Over half of the units are already reserved. By 2013 when the project is scheduled for completion the eight story structure near Lakehead University, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and with easy access via what will be a four-lane roadway on Golf Links Road to anywhere in the city, it will likely become a premier address for many residents in the growing white collar industry in the city.

The move to build condos at “The Club” is a move that may also cause concern for developers at Marina Park. Given a choice of living on a golf course, with quick access to many amenities, including the new Quality Market, the Five Forks, Lakehead University, and the hospital, this is the kind of living many professionals would likely want. There will likely be some real competition for prospective buyers. Contrast the ease of coming home, enjoying dinner, and heading out for a quick nine holes of golf after supper to a lifestyle with the view and vista of Lake Superior from the Marina condos.

It will be a contrast to condos at Marina Park where construction of the hotel and condos has yet to start. It has been over a year since residents were assured that the hotellier would be announced. Now, the views of Lake Superior and the Sleeping Giant from the waterfront will likely be the best in comparison, but one of the challenges will be competing with the other amenities.

There could be another spikebelt coming in competition for possible condo buyers. City Council is mulling over the sale of public golf courses in our city. During the term of the last Council, then Mayor Lynn Peterson brought forward the idea of selling off Municipal Golf Course twice. That course, which is very senior friendly would make an excellent venue for a gated condo community geared toward seniors. It would, depending on the concept, and if City Council decided to sell off the course, be a place that would be very attractive to many in our city’s aging population.

As the waterfront development continues, that too will be an attractive venue, likely for young professionals. If the development of the hotel and condos, and new marina with the skateboard park and winter ice skating rink serve as the impetus for downtown revitalization in the Port Arthur downtown core, it is likely those condos will be popular. However all of that background infrastructure is still to come downtown. Should the proposed multipurpose facility that Thunder Bay is looking at end up in the Port Arthur core, that likely will be a needed boost toward re-generation of the Waterfront District.

In a free enterprise society competition is a needed component. The development at the Thunder Bay Country Club may well prove very strong competition to the Marina Park condos.

James Murray

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