Friday, August 5, 2011

Why Not Save Some Of This Heritage Structure....

I don't understand the issue why the Kay's Buildings has to be totally knocked down.  We had no problem finding engineers that felt the exterior walls could be saved.  Simply put CADC wanted $798,000 for the building and it was going to cost $1,638,268 to save the building and there was a government grant of $1,000,000 to save the structure... that left the base land cost at $1,436,268 which would have allowed us to develop 53,310 square feet of space over the land base at a cost of $26.94 per square foot, which is slightly less per foot than we paid Kevin Murphy years ago when we bought the Kirkwood Motel site to build the original Superstor....  a similar heritage restoration project is underway in downtown Halifax so why can't it be done here...  This is a great project for Charlottetown and it should be done right and I'm hoping it goes ahead...

Here's the engineer's design restoration design.pdf

City wants to determine whether the Kays Bros. building can be salvaged. Developer says it needs to come down.

Published on August 3, 2011  
Dave Stewart

Jason Coady says the wise move is to delay a decision on a proposed downtown hotel in Charlottetown by a few more weeks.

The chair of the city's economic development committee said Wednesday it would be very difficult to reject an application by businessman Danny Murphy to build a 124-room Hilton Garden Inn.
The $15-million project would encompass the property at the corner of Queen and Water streets and the old, vacant Kays Bros. building.
"Personally, I'd like to see a $15-million hotel down there with the convention centre and drive the tax base from an economic development point of view,'' Coady said.
Murphy's application was scheduled to go before city council on Monday.
In fact, no one The Guardian talked to Wednesday was opposed to the project but there is a problem.
Murphy's proposal would involve delisting the Kays building as a designated heritage property, something the heritage board doesn't want to do. The board was expected to recommend council reject the application based on that before Murphy withdrew his application late on Wednesday.
Murphy said he's had two different engineering companies examine the interior and exterior of the Kays building and both said the same thing.
"The engineers are telling us it's not safe and, financially, it would not be feasible,'' Murphy said. "I mean, anything can be done but it would just drive the cost of the project to a place where it wouldn't be feasible to build a hotel.''
Murphy's plan is to demolish the building, including the two exterior brick walls.
Coady said Murphy withdrawing his application before Monday's regular public monthly meeting of council will give the city time to have an independent body look the building over and see if they agree with Murphy's engineers. Murphy can then resubmit for the September meeting, or a special meeting before that.
Coun. Rob Lantz, chair of the heritage board, said it's great news that Murphy wants to redevelop the property but there are other things to consider here.
"It's just a very important piece of heritage and a prominent location in our city so we need to step back and work together to achieve the best possible outcome,'' Lantz said.
"We'd like to co-operate on this project but before we start making decisions we need an independent structural review of the building to determine what is possible and what is not.''
Coady is vice-chair of the heritage board, noting that he appreciates their concerns.
The city did have a report done on the Kays building but that was four years ago. The structure has been vacant since 2007 and there's been no heat on inside.
Murphy made it clear he wants to recreate the historic look of the old building with a new structure.
"Oh, in a huge way, a huge way,'' he said. "You are not going to go into old Charlottetown at the corner of Water and Queen and put up some (building that doesn't fit with the historic streetscape). That is just not our intention.
"We want to recreate a historical looking hotel that is very, very attractive, that fits in there. (The city) can rest assured a commitment on our part to respecting that historical part of the city. That is absolutely paramount in our plans.''

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