Montague bullish on south side project

Steve Sharratt
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Mayor hopes new project can mirror north side develoment

Mayor Richard Collins

MONTAGUE — A proposed plan to revitalize the south side of the town waterfront has been unveiled in a conceptual plan here that would see the relocation of the successful Artisans of Main Street project.

It’s only in the preliminary stages but the project is estimated to cost around $300,000 and require both private and public partnership funding.

The proposal calls for the renovation of a vacant waterfront building to accommodate the growing artisans project, which more than doubled sales this past year; the installation of a parking facility for visitors and customers; and the inclusion of a number of stationary art projects, including the painting of a concrete retaining wall below the Garden of the Gulf museum.

“We have had great success with the development of the north side of the waterfront and it would be great to now turn our attention to the south side,’’ says Mayor Richard.

The project is still an idea in search of funds, but town event co-ordinator Andrew Rowe said the effort would be a major economic spark plug project much like the north side waterfront park that draws thousands of visitors every year and the marina that is booked to capacity.

“If this plan were to proceed, it would see Montague become a true cultural tourism destination,’’ said Rowe. “We already have the 2014 public Art Trail in the works and the town needs to capitalize on the momentum and brand Montague as the arts and culture centre of eastern P.E.I.”

The north side of the river is home to the waterfront park, train station, marina, Confederation Trail and the new Riverhouse Inn hotel. The south side is home to the fishing wharf, a vacant building, a few residential homes and Beck’s Home Furniture.

Developing the south side of the river has been part of an overall growth plan for the community for the past dozen years ever since thousands of dollars were invested in the north side of the bridge. Funding opportunities are currently being explored by the town.

The many windowed building in question for renovation is now a storage facility owned by businessman Mark Beck.

“The renovation of this building would greatly aid in the beautification process in Montague and with increased foot traffic, it would promote development of other shops on the south of the bridge,’’ said Rowe. “It would also provide a long term home for Artisans on Main (40 artisans) which could remain open further into the shoulder season at this location.”

Rowe said artist Ahmon Katz is proposing to sculpt three fish for the south side of the bridge as part of the 2014 Art Trail and a concrete retaining wall below the Garden of the Gulf museum will be enhanced with the installation of a nautical themed mural.

Montague Revitalization Project:

- $300,000 proposal to improve south side of town waterfront

- Relocate Artisans on Main project

- Art Walk 2014 already funded and approved

- Project would secure possible bus tour traffic

Organizations: Gulf museum, Riverhouse Inn

Geographic location: MONTAGUE, Eastern P.E.I.

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  • Nancy Perkins
    December 26, 2013 - 10:23

    This will be wonderful for the public and the artisans. It can be Artisans on Main "along the river" So much cn be done with this rather barren spot since the tanks were removed. Halifax can do it and so can we.