Public organizations will get one more shot at operating Auchmar Estate.
City Councillors voted 12-3 in favour of Councillor Terry Whitehead’s motion to suspend the private sale process and current negotiations with potential buyers of the Auchmar Estate for six months to give residents one more shot at keeping the heritage building in public hands.
Terry Whitehead urged councillors Wednesday to put off any sale negotiations for six months to give a recently formed “roundtable” of concerned citizens and community groups a chance to discuss ways to maintain the dilapidated mansion.
City staff warned they were already negotiating with more than one serious would-be buyer, with inquiries from other “interested parties.”
But Whitehead argued that simultaneously negotiating with buyers while also studying public proposals — the previous council-approved plan — “just muddies the waters.”
Whitehead adds that the best ideas coming out of his brainstorming effort will be included in a staff report to council.
The Ward 8 Councillor argues that separate that public and private processes will benefit all parties involved, by making sure the process does not “muddy the water”.
The Friends of Auchmar suggest a range of possible uses for the sprawling property from community gardens and artist’s lofts to weddings, conferences and public tours.