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Committee eyes options for Public Safety Building

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A civic committee wants to spend $275,000 to decide what to do with the soon-to-be-vacated Public Safety Building.

Coun. Mike Pagtakhan, chairman of the downtown development, heritage and riverbank management committee, said outside consultants would be hired to determine whether the building should be demolished, repurposed or developed from the ground up.

"The genesis of this cost analysis is because the police are moving out," Pagtakhan said after the committee voted that the study should be paid for.

"At the end of the day I'd like to see some mixed development on that site."

Barry Thorgrimson, the city's planning director, said they know if they spend $39 million to fix the outside of the PSB and demolish the parkade the building could last up to 70 years.

Thorgrimson said the building would not have to be renovated to the same standards as for the police.

"We wouldn't be bomb-proofing it if planners are in there," he said.

"It would be done for traditional office use."

The city had to close the parkade last year after concerns it was structurally unstable.

As well, the city can't sell a large portion of the property the PSB sits on because it was donated by a local family decades ago with the caveat it go back to them if no longer used for a public purpose.

Pagtakhan said a sizeable section on the north side of the property could be sold.

The matter next goes to executive policy committee and then city council for a final decision.

Kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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