Vacant Beachway Park pump may see business in Burlington this summer

Built in 1909, the Beachway Park pump house in Burlington may once again see residency as the city opens it up for seasonal rent.

The City of Burlington has put out a proposal inviting businesses to submit an application for a rental opportunity for the historic pump house at Beachway Park (1094 Lakeshore Road).

Businesses would be able to occupy the building for seasonal rental from spring to fall.

There are already four submissions, noted Jim Seferiades, a business services planner for the City’s Parks and Recreation department.

“Those proposals include food service, retail and recreational rentals, though right now the food service is out of the equation because there is no water or sanitary systems available,” he explained. “We’re leaning more towards retail and recreational or leisurely services to fill the space.”

The 800-square-foot building has been used as a storage facility for the city since it was purchased in 1987, but remained mostly unused for the past 15 years.

Prior to the city purchasing the pump house, it was used as a residential home with a full basement and an additional 200-square-feet used for a kitchen.

“The building right now will be rented with limited amenities since the sanitary system isn’t functional,” Seferiades explained. “Therefore there is no water because it can’t go anywhere. It will be based on hydro power, so there’s no heating or cooling.”

The City plans to spend around $10,000 for minor upgrades such as fixing cracks in the wall, cleaning up the old washroom facilities and outdated fixtures, as well as painting the walls.

“Because the building will be used for seasonal rentals, when the business isn’t there in the off-season we can go in and do the bigger upgrades,” he said, noting it includes installing a furnace. “We’ll stage the improvements through a phased approach during windows of opportunity and offer it as a full season sort of rental for the longer term once its done.”

The majority of the $62,000 budget that had been approved in the city’s capital budget for this year will be saved for long-term upgrades, though it doesn’t include the renewal of the septic system.

The completion of the sewer system would be determined once the results of the Beach Master Plan and Servicing Study is announced during the Community Services Committee on April 17, said Karen English, a senior buyer for the city of Burlington.

When the new septic system is installed, it would be adjacent to the beach pavilion beach septic system that is directly connected to the Skyway Wastewater Treatment Plant; however, the current system would not be able to handle additional flows.

The Beach Master Plan would allow the city to plan a comprehensive solution for sanitary services in the area.

A decision should be made by the end of April on which business or organization will be chosen, added English.

“Interested parties are required to purchase the RFP document and submit a compliant proposal,” she said, with applications due on April 11 at 2 p.m. “We hope to generate revenue, better utilize a unique heritage asset, create a destination on the beach and create a more dynamic beach environment with opportunities for citizens.”

The upgrades to the building is expected to be complete by May 1, with the latest day projected to be the Victoria Day long weekend, so businesses can move in for the season.

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