Hamillton Auchmar bidder calls process “messy”

News Jun 04, 2015 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

Jeremy Freiburger is still trying to get his head around the city’s request for proposals process regarding the 19th century Auchmar estate on the west Mountain.

“It’s a very messy process,” said Freiburger, who is also cultural strategist for CoBALT  Connects a non-profit Hamilton arts service organization that develops arts and culture programs and strategies for communities and groups across the province.

CoBALT and Friends of Auchmar put in unsuccessful bids to restore and operate the historic 9.5 acre west-Mountain site.

Freiburger said CoBALT was looking to team up with a variety of private and public sector partners on a 15-year, $10-$11 million plan that would have seen the main manor building restored and the coach house refurbished and turned into a restaurant with some second floor suites.

City officials put Auchmar restoration costs at about $6 million.

Freiburger said they also want to tear down the chapel and dormitory building and replace it with a modern building featuring office and artistic work space, washrooms and other amenities and the walls and gardens on the grounds would be restored.

The non-profit group, which has spent about 100 hours on the Auchmar bid, was surprised to learn that city staff gave their bid a nine out of 35.

“To me it’s a rating that made it feel like they already decided they basically didn’t want to pick a proponent, that they still wanted to own the site themselves and in order to relinquish themselves of the RFP process they needed to rate everyone below the benchmark,” Freiburger said.

He noted the city raised concerns about things like what would happen to the grass if they put up some tents to hold public events and about the lack of a plan to install modern lighting along the pathways.

“Things like that to me are super detail operational things, not concept things which was frustrating,” Freiburger said.

He noted they were not asked to provide any financial information, but would have if requested.

“We’ve got a 15-year cash flow for the project which we thing is realistic,” said Freiburger, who noted some of that cash flow would come holding events at Auchmar such as markets, workshops, festivals and making the site available for wedding photos.

He said Auchmar should feature a mix of artistic, heritage and contemporary activities and that they are still be willing to be part of the public/private process (including the possibility of selling the site) the city has embarked on in a bid to save Auchmar.

City planning and economic development officials said that for confidentiality reasons they are not able to comment on the proposal by CoBALT Connects.

 

 

Hamillton Auchmar bidder calls process “messy”

$11 million, 15-year plan proposed by CoBALT Connects

News Jun 04, 2015 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

Jeremy Freiburger is still trying to get his head around the city’s request for proposals process regarding the 19th century Auchmar estate on the west Mountain.

“It’s a very messy process,” said Freiburger, who is also cultural strategist for CoBALT  Connects a non-profit Hamilton arts service organization that develops arts and culture programs and strategies for communities and groups across the province.

CoBALT and Friends of Auchmar put in unsuccessful bids to restore and operate the historic 9.5 acre west-Mountain site.

Freiburger said CoBALT was looking to team up with a variety of private and public sector partners on a 15-year, $10-$11 million plan that would have seen the main manor building restored and the coach house refurbished and turned into a restaurant with some second floor suites.

City officials put Auchmar restoration costs at about $6 million.

Freiburger said they also want to tear down the chapel and dormitory building and replace it with a modern building featuring office and artistic work space, washrooms and other amenities and the walls and gardens on the grounds would be restored.

The non-profit group, which has spent about 100 hours on the Auchmar bid, was surprised to learn that city staff gave their bid a nine out of 35.

“To me it’s a rating that made it feel like they already decided they basically didn’t want to pick a proponent, that they still wanted to own the site themselves and in order to relinquish themselves of the RFP process they needed to rate everyone below the benchmark,” Freiburger said.

He noted the city raised concerns about things like what would happen to the grass if they put up some tents to hold public events and about the lack of a plan to install modern lighting along the pathways.

“Things like that to me are super detail operational things, not concept things which was frustrating,” Freiburger said.

He noted they were not asked to provide any financial information, but would have if requested.

“We’ve got a 15-year cash flow for the project which we thing is realistic,” said Freiburger, who noted some of that cash flow would come holding events at Auchmar such as markets, workshops, festivals and making the site available for wedding photos.

He said Auchmar should feature a mix of artistic, heritage and contemporary activities and that they are still be willing to be part of the public/private process (including the possibility of selling the site) the city has embarked on in a bid to save Auchmar.

City planning and economic development officials said that for confidentiality reasons they are not able to comment on the proposal by CoBALT Connects.

 

 

Hamillton Auchmar bidder calls process “messy”

$11 million, 15-year plan proposed by CoBALT Connects

News Jun 04, 2015 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

Jeremy Freiburger is still trying to get his head around the city’s request for proposals process regarding the 19th century Auchmar estate on the west Mountain.

“It’s a very messy process,” said Freiburger, who is also cultural strategist for CoBALT  Connects a non-profit Hamilton arts service organization that develops arts and culture programs and strategies for communities and groups across the province.

CoBALT and Friends of Auchmar put in unsuccessful bids to restore and operate the historic 9.5 acre west-Mountain site.

Freiburger said CoBALT was looking to team up with a variety of private and public sector partners on a 15-year, $10-$11 million plan that would have seen the main manor building restored and the coach house refurbished and turned into a restaurant with some second floor suites.

City officials put Auchmar restoration costs at about $6 million.

Freiburger said they also want to tear down the chapel and dormitory building and replace it with a modern building featuring office and artistic work space, washrooms and other amenities and the walls and gardens on the grounds would be restored.

The non-profit group, which has spent about 100 hours on the Auchmar bid, was surprised to learn that city staff gave their bid a nine out of 35.

“To me it’s a rating that made it feel like they already decided they basically didn’t want to pick a proponent, that they still wanted to own the site themselves and in order to relinquish themselves of the RFP process they needed to rate everyone below the benchmark,” Freiburger said.

He noted the city raised concerns about things like what would happen to the grass if they put up some tents to hold public events and about the lack of a plan to install modern lighting along the pathways.

“Things like that to me are super detail operational things, not concept things which was frustrating,” Freiburger said.

He noted they were not asked to provide any financial information, but would have if requested.

“We’ve got a 15-year cash flow for the project which we thing is realistic,” said Freiburger, who noted some of that cash flow would come holding events at Auchmar such as markets, workshops, festivals and making the site available for wedding photos.

He said Auchmar should feature a mix of artistic, heritage and contemporary activities and that they are still be willing to be part of the public/private process (including the possibility of selling the site) the city has embarked on in a bid to save Auchmar.

City planning and economic development officials said that for confidentiality reasons they are not able to comment on the proposal by CoBALT Connects.