Golf resort

New $1.54 billion Black Bear Ridge golf resort concept proposed for Belleville

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A proposed $1.54 billion development is on the way with a 370-hectare mixed-use resort, hotel and residential complex with the existing Black Bear Ridge golf course at its core.

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Pending proper approvals, resort facilities and over 3,000 new homes are proposed to encircle the award-winning golf course opened on Harmony Road in Thurlow Ward in 2005 by the late developer Brian Magee whose vision for his heritage project was to attract visitors from across Canada and beyond.

A big Belleville supporter for decades, Magee died just before his 77and birthday in July 2020.

Belleville City Council called a special meeting Tuesday to hear developers Black Bear Ridge GP Inc. publicly roll out in deputation plans to build one of the largest developments in town in living memory.

City Council will be asked to support a developer’s request for a “Minister’s Zoning Ordinance (MZO) as requested by Black Bear Ridge GP Inc. and reviewed by City Solicitor Templeman LLP for a resort area fully serviced on the lands near Harmony Road and Highway 37,” the city said in its agenda for the special meeting to be held in the open council chamber.

“There will be a delegation of Alex Sharpe from Black Bear Ridge GP Inc. and Mike Pettigrew from the Biglieri Group,” the city confirmed on Monday.

The board will also be asked to “approve and authorize the execution of a cost recovery agreement between the Corporation of the City of Belleville and Black Bear Ridge GP Inc., to be prepared for consideration by the board.”

According to an economic impact analysis carried out by the consultant urbanMetrics Inc., retained by the developers, the new concept would create $53.7 million in annual commercial revenues.

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The new golf and resort destination would encompass a “new mixed-use residential and resort recreation community on approximately 370 hectares” that would build on the amenities of the 27-hole championship golf course which offers a driving range, academy teaching, pro shop and club house, the consultant said.

“The physical construction of the Black Bear Ridge Residential and Resort Recreation Community will involve approximately $1.5 billion in initial one-time expenditures and $45.6 million in development charge revenue for the City of Belleville,” said stated urbanMetrics Inc. in its analysis.

Completion of the sprawling project would create 12,380 jobs during the construction period and hundreds of full-time jobs once complete and operational.

“When complete, the development concept will generate nearly $17.6 million in annual (recurring) property tax revenue and water and wastewater revenue for the City of Belleville,” the company said.

The development vision is large-scale, according to the analysis report.

“A mix of low-density and seniors housing is proposed to the south, east and west of the existing golf course. In total, up to 3,049 housing units could be housed on the subject site, which will provide a range and mix of affordability,” urbanMetrics wrote.

“The subject site will also host a mix of recreational uses, resort accommodations, spa and event space located throughout the concept plan. In total, the proposed non-residential uses could result in the development of approximately 415,000 square feet of space.

“The improved and expanded recreational and resort facilities will be important in attracting tourism to the Town of Belleville and will provide employment opportunities for local residents.

The special council meeting begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday.