Brantford councilors recommend lease agreement with Grand River Health Center

Grand River Community Health Center is planning to expand to West Brant.

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The center, which provides primary health care and other services, is set to lease space from the city at 177 Colborne St. W. The location will be in addition to the center’s existing location on the other side of the city at 363 Colborne St.

City councilors, at a committee meeting last week, recommended approval of entering into a five-year lease agreement with the center. The decision is expected to be approved by council at its June 25 meeting.

The municipally-owned property at 177 Colborne St. W. is a 26-unit affordable housing development that provides housing to older adults who had experienced chronic homelessness or housing instability.

Construction was completed in April 2023 and the building is now occupied. Staff from the city’s housing and homelessness services department help coordinate community services to ensure tenants can remain in their new homes.

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According to a staff report, site contamination issues were discovered and about 1,280 tons of soil was removed and replaced with clean fill.

The clean-up efforts meet provincial government standards. However, under provincial government regulations, the ground floor is suitable only for commercial use.

Community health center staff toured the building earlier this year and approached the city about leasing the ground floor.

At present, the ground floor, which covers about 260-square-meters (2,800-square-feet) is unfinished.

Under the proposed deal, the city will provide $200,000 to help the center finish the unit to the center’s specifications. The $200,000 will be recovered by the city over the five-year term of the lease.

In addition, the center will pay market rent of $14 per-square-foot for the first two years. The rent will increase to $14.50 per-square-foot in year three and $15 in years four and five.

The health center was one of 22 announced by the province in 2005 and opened its doors for the first time at 363 Colborne St. in 2009. The center celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019.


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