St. John's Presbyterian Church Toronto

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The Long Range Planning Group Update / Oct. 2016

As you may recall, at our Congregational meeting in the spring the Congregation gave us approval to proceed with the Request for Proposals.  Since that time, we received advice that we should add another step to the process before the RFP and issue what is called a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI). The REOI is a document that contains much of the same information in the RFP but is less legally binding and is for the purposes of identifying prospective developers that would be interested.  We would then review the developers that respond to the REOI and create a short list. The RFP (after it is made into a legally binding document) would be given to the developers on this short list.

We also commissioned a land survey of our property to accompany the EOI and both were completed last week.  We are ready to go!

We have created a list of about 13 potential companies that have some experience in dealing with a redevelopment project such as ours. On Monday, Oct. 17th, 2016, we sent the REOI and survey to them with a deadline for responses on Dec. 12, 2016. They have been invited to forward the documents to anyone who may be interested as well.

Hopefully we will get a good response and have several companies to choose from.  At present we are getting some advice on how we should evaluate these submissions. Our goal is to have our short list decided on and the RFP ready by the end of January, 2017.

If you would like to see a copy of the REOI and land survey, we have posted a copy of both on the bulletin board in the coffee room.

Update Jan. 8/2017

A new year begins for the work of the Long Range Planning Group.

During the month before the deadline of Dec. 12, 2016, Laurie McGugan toured a number of prospective developers through the church. Some returned two or three times.  In the end we received four submissions to our Request for Expression of Interest.

We felt that we needed professional help to evaluate these submissions properly.  Our ongoing consultant, Frank Lewinberg from Urban Strategies prepared a contract letter, which covers advisory services through the REOI and subsequent RFP process. Frank is generously donating his own time pro bono, and Senior Associate, Leigh McGrath’s time is at a significantly discounted rate.

They advised that it would be wise to retain a lawyer for the next steps.

Urban Strategies was able to recommend a lawyer, Corrine Kennedy, from the firm Aird and Berlis.  Elizabeth was able to interview her and we have now retained Corrine for her services.

On Dec. 14. the LRP group met with Frank and Leigh to discuss next steps.  It was decided that it would be a good idea to interview the four developers before proceeding with the RFP process.  We are preparing a set of questions and will be trying to accomplish these interviews as soon as possible. Both Leigh and Corrine will attend the interviews.

With the support of our lawyer and consultants, we can move forward confident that we are taking all the appropriate steps.

Our next Congregation meeting regarding Long Range Planning will be at the Annual Meeting in February 26 after service.  We will reserve some time at the meeting to answer all the questions you have regarding our work. Please try to attend.  If we have important news before then we will publish another newsletter.

Keeping the congregation informed is a very important to us.  We are happy to hear your questions any time.

LRPG Co-Chairs

Elizabeth Miller (Lorimer)  416-462-2882

Laurie McGugan  416-466-6099