The old River Heights fire hall on Grosvenor Avenue was sold this morning to the Rady Jewish community centre after the recommended bidder unexpectedly withdrew its offer.
Both groups were proposing to convert the building into a daycare but the private group had offered $429,000 – and was recommended by the administration – while Rady JCC bid $410,000.
The sale was set to go through last week when the fire hall and other two other properties – all caught up in the controversial and aborted Shindico land swap of 2012 – came to the property and development committee.
The other two properties, the old Berry Street fire hall and a parcel of prime vacant riverfront land on Mulvey Avenue East, were sold to separate buyers.
But the committee postponed a decision on the Grosvenor fire hall after a presentation from Rady JCC, who said they still wanted to buy the hall.
When the meeting started this morning, committee chairman Coun. Jeff Browaty announced that the private group had withdrawn their offer Friday afternoon, explaining later that one of the reasons cited was that local councillor John Orlikow was supporting the Rady offer.
The committee then moved a motion to accept the Rady JCC offer.
"We’re delighted," Gayle Waxman, executive director of the Rady JCC, said following the meeting.
Browaty (North Kildonan) said the city had received five offers for the old fire hall, adding that the Rady JCC bid was the second-highest.
Waxman said she only learned at the meeting that the other group had withdrawn their offer.
The Rady JCC, which already operates a daycare at their facility on Doncaster Street, plans to convert the old fire hall into a 48-space, non-profit facility.
Waxman said she hopes renovations and paper work can have the new daycare open in 18 to 24 months.
Waxman would not disclose the total cost of the project. She told the committee last week that the group had secured provincial funding of $325,000 for the purchase.