Imagine Chatham-Kent

Background

Last spring it was announced a group of local investors had purchased the Downtown Chatham Centre property.

On June 28, 2021 Municipal Council directed administration “to prepare a report regarding options for relocation or redevelopment of municipal assets including, but not limited to, the Civic Centre as part of the plans to redevelop the Downtown Chatham Centre property”. Shortly afterwards, administration issued a survey on behalf of the local investors group to solicit ideas from the public on how the DCC site can be developed for future use (Share Your Ideas-Downtown Chatham Centre).

Subsequent to this public engagement, the investors – collectively referred to as the Community Partners in the Imagine Chatham-Kent proposal - commissioned an architectural firm, at their cost, to prepare a preliminary design concept for the redevelopment of the DCC site. Although referred to as the Community Partners, no formal partnership has been entered into with the Municipality.

A video presentation of the Imagine Chatham-Kent preliminary design concept can be viewed below.

On June 13, 2022 Municipal Council directed administration to continue with a public engagement process to solicit feedback on the Imagine Chatham-Kent proposal in its presented form. Administration was also directed to begin a due diligence process to determine capital cost estimates of the Community Hub and Entertainment Complex, in conjunction with a review of the proposal’s scope and assumptions. Information will be reported back to Council at a later date.


Background

Last spring it was announced a group of local investors had purchased the Downtown Chatham Centre property.

On June 28, 2021 Municipal Council directed administration “to prepare a report regarding options for relocation or redevelopment of municipal assets including, but not limited to, the Civic Centre as part of the plans to redevelop the Downtown Chatham Centre property”. Shortly afterwards, administration issued a survey on behalf of the local investors group to solicit ideas from the public on how the DCC site can be developed for future use (Share Your Ideas-Downtown Chatham Centre).

Subsequent to this public engagement, the investors – collectively referred to as the Community Partners in the Imagine Chatham-Kent proposal - commissioned an architectural firm, at their cost, to prepare a preliminary design concept for the redevelopment of the DCC site. Although referred to as the Community Partners, no formal partnership has been entered into with the Municipality.

A video presentation of the Imagine Chatham-Kent preliminary design concept can be viewed below.

On June 13, 2022 Municipal Council directed administration to continue with a public engagement process to solicit feedback on the Imagine Chatham-Kent proposal in its presented form. Administration was also directed to begin a due diligence process to determine capital cost estimates of the Community Hub and Entertainment Complex, in conjunction with a review of the proposal’s scope and assumptions. Information will be reported back to Council at a later date.


Public Feedback

This area is available for members of the public to provide comment until 4pm on Friday, July 15, 2022. Please share your initial thoughts, concerns, or ideas regarding the Imagine Chatham-Kent proposal.

A Frequently Asked Questions area has been prepared on the right side of this screen (scroll down if on mobile). The FAQ will be updated should information be available to address questions posed on this forum. 

A summary of the Public Feedback will be provided to Council in a future report.

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This property has been a mistake from the beginning, never should have been built, but money talks, anyway a new arena is needed not a new library, this was voted on by the people of chatham many years ago arena won and we got a new library, don't screw us over again, forget the library build the biggest arena possible on that land

John Rehner 6 months ago

Tax payers will be paying rent all the time if they do this move and who is going to buy the buildings if they move out? No mention of the theater where will it go. They are going to cram everything into the Sears building?? There will be growing pains and you want to do it right We need a better Museum ..just look at Wallaceburg they have a good one. We need a new rink for sure ...but with the price of gas no body is coming to Chatham to see a main event ..when they can stay home in Windsor or London or Sarnia Try filling a 4000 seat arena all year long and where is everybody going to park? All in that garage? I go downtown to the Satellite restaurant once in awhile and have a hard time finding a place to park now...and its dead downtown..! Trying to fit everything down there and to do it right and have the parking and thats if people come like I said before, price of gas. Right now with inflation we could be headed for a recession and cant sell these empty buildings now let alone more empty buildings from the civic center and Library etc. Just look at all that money that was spent on the Capital Theater and for what? I hope we have learned our lessens from that mistake...and common sense and looking ahead is what is needed Sure we all would like to see downtown do better ..but that was in the horse and buggy days Look ahead to the future not just a quick fix to fill some investors pockets Think this out, we almost had the money for a new arena built right in the right place until covid came along If the Civic Center was built right in the first place we wouldnt have to even think about moving Hold these builders accountable and go after them for the repair bills get it in writing .10 million to fix it up sounds like a lot of money to me and somebody will be padding their pockets with that amount but it will be cheaper in the long run after moving everything out taking another loss on trying to sell everything paying rent forever that price will go up..like everything else So everything gets move in one spot ..no place to park and trying to get people to come to this entertainment center year long Who will be in charge of that? More costs hidden costs Might as well split the money that you will spend and give it to the people of Chatham Kent so we can buy Lotto tickets or spend it at the Casino .. Just use common sense think ahead do things right for a change You are showing it now by having this Public Feedback like when they wanted to move our one hospital to St Joe...and everybody knew that was a bad idea ...no place to park to begin with. Fix the City Hall and do it right the other places dont need to be moved ..there is nothing wrong with them Give us a entertainment center but put it in the right place ...not down town there is now room to grow if this thing takes off like everybody hope it does then you will be able to expand in the future and not just trying to put a bandage on downtown to fix something that was made for the horse and buggy days. Do it right think ahead!

jrhamlin 6 months ago

I’m happy something is being considered with the downtown again maybe this time the hype will be achieved , as we remember the downtown mall was the answer to our problems , then the capitol theatre was going to bring big entertainment and people downtown and the river front was going to bring people and tourists downtown we know these were all failed but had lots of hype and promises. I fell for all of them cause I hoped it would . I’m less inclined to be so gullible this time let’s be honest no OHL team is coming to Chatham ever , no big name concerts or entertainment is coming to Chatham ever downtown arenas barely survive in big centres with 4 times the population. So let’s talk about what really might be successful here a indoor water park with slides and rock climbing? Maybe . I’m open to suggestions let’s just not get railroaded down a tunnel vision plan where only a big empty arena sitting where once stood a big empty mall .just my thoughts thanks for starting a conservation on this cause we know something needs to be done .

Garry 6 months ago

This is an excellent proposal which will revitalize downtown CK. Lets’s keep the focus on “why we can” rather than “why we can’t”. Opportunities like this don’t come along very often.

jimlecuyer 6 months ago

So if we build a new arena- which I was never on board with as our community has many other more important needs if it will raise our taxes- it needs to be done properly- with room to grown and expand- NO room in the downtown core- parking and traffic will be an issue- already the capitol and cultural center for concerts. Chatham themselves can't even afford this= Want to build an arena- do it RIGHT- double ice pad so hockey tournaments and skating competitions so we can host them in one location- swimming pools, water slides, childrens play place, indoor sports fields, climbing walls, go karts etc etc.. downtown could be used for indoor entertainment center- like laser tag, something like the wild zone use to be- glo in the dark mini golf, escape rooms- there is not much for families or teens to do here anymore- downtown is not the place for an arena. And we NEED more affordable shopping- the downtown stores are fabulous but over half our area can NOT afford them- we need shopping for children and teens. and HOW much will this cost the tax payer- already most of chatham kent is struggling right now to pay their bills- many seniors can not afford to live- How many of chatham will support this when it is open? I was talking with many people who have never and willnever go to the capitol as they just can't afford the tickets in the first place. And all the events I have been to at the Capitol over the years have never been sold out- they said build it and they will come? Well I have not seen any sold out shows- most I have talked to said the same when they went. I have been to downtown cores and hate the traffic and congestion- We do what we have to do and leave- all the times I drove to Budweiser gardens- many times over the years we have never once stepped foot in one of the stores or restaurants down town- We stop on our way there. many other options for downtown area- not a fan of the municipality offices and buildings moving there either- how much will that cost us?? VS fixing and repairing the buildings we have?

farm mom 1970 6 months ago

Would it be possible to have some sort of overhead covered area between the Hub and the complex and perhaps a large area in front (king street side) of the community hub area.

u00lmk5 6 months ago

For far too long, I have been ashamed of the appearance of our downtown. All the boarded up windows at the downtown mall, broken windows does not entice anyone to visit our downtown. We have a lot of municipal buildings that are in desperate need of renovation and repairs. We have an arena that is the laughing stock to any visitors.
This is truly a visionary idea! Looking forward to this becoming a reality. To the team that came up with this idea.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

ChathamFan 6 months ago

lets get this right.lets not look back years from now and regret overlooking some of the important issues that might make a big difference in chathams future growth and economy. for instance if a 4000. seat entertainment center is built why not have all the facilities in place that might bring ohl hockey to chatham.i cant think of any better revenue that would bring tourism, and people downtown to businesses and restaurants. we certainly should have learned from the mistakes of the past.

wayner69 6 months ago

We all know that this is the dream team for revitalizing Chatham, and I'm super excited to see them taking on this project.

My main concerns is the cost being owning vs renting the city hall and library. How much will this move cost tax payers?

My other concern may be an empty theatre. We had a really hard time getting the Capitol Theatre off the ground, and now we want to add another theatre to the area? I feel like this may not be the place, especially since there isn't enough parking for 4000 people in the downtown area, unless we plan on adding about 2000 more parking spaces downtown.

My, not so concern, but hope, is that maybe we see more indoor play places for young children and not just teenagers.

All in all I'm super excited for this project and what it means for the future of downtown!

dutchyswife 6 months ago

Great project. Please, for the love of all that is good in the world, do NOT drag your feet. Be thankful that a group of individuals are willing to invest millions of dollars into our downtown. They have done the consulting. The concept is excellent. Please please please don't mess this up. 100% approve. Get it done.

goudreco 6 months ago

This is definitely a game changer for our municipality the vision Rob and his team have for this downtown core is incredible.I am
looking forward to the next steps in this amazing revitalization and rebirth of downtown Chatham.

Newbury2015 6 months ago

I was never one for the idea of a just new arena in Chatham but I have to say this has to be one of the smartest proposal's I have heard of for a very long time that has been presented to council ,It's definitely going to be a game changer for years to come for the entire CK
A huge shout out the this fine group of investors as a team
I've always been one for team work and just look at this as a great example of team work and we all could learn from this presentation and move forward with this as quick as possible
Thank you

Scott Atkins 6 months ago

This is absolutely a game changer for our municipality, and will bring positive change for generations to come. Bringing people to the core, with something to show off will really be a source of pride for all residents. Kudos to the developers and I hope that council can get this passed as soon as possible.

matt_gagner 6 months ago

The soul of Chatham has been lost over the years always years behind other areas. Chatham-Kent needs a new heart and vibrant centre of togetherness and inclusion for all that come and live in the Municipality. Chatham-Kent is on the cusp of a vibrant future and about to see a population boom. We need this for our future. We have been passed over by traveling entertainment like Cirque Du Soleil and Disney on Ice because we have no venue currently suitable. We have lost out on OHL teams because of no plan or movement of such a wonderful Facility. I moved away from Chatham-Kent and came back because of Family. Having these in one location in the heart of our beautiful city would be massively beneficial the Entertainment Complex/Arena could be used for the international food court of a revitalized Festival of Nations similar to the original that used the old Armouries. It will bring new life to King Street and a draw for boats from the US to return to our docks on the Thames. As a Resident, this is absolutely 1000% a Must to draw people to our Historic Municipality. With Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Buxton Settlement 2 Provincial Parks, access to 2 lakes and Beaches, and various events in all points of our Municipality. The quote from the Field of Dreams film fits this perfectly in this time "If you BUILD it They WILL Come"! We must be brave and move forward with all aspects of this project for our prosperous future. Thank You to the project crew and the Partners for bringing Chatham-Kent out of the slump and giving us a glorious future. Simcha BenYsrael

Simchamichael 6 months ago

Is there the possibility for members of the community to provide an anonymous survey? Most projects have offered this option and I think this would be appropriate for a project of this nature. Thank you for your time.

Familyof4 6 months ago
Page last updated: 03 Nov 2022, 10:03 AM