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This article was published 27/1/2016 (515 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Plans by a local businessman to refurbish three historical south Main Street properties was given a boost Wednesday when council agreed to place a heritage designation on the buildings.
Council agreed to impose the heritage designation on the Winnipeg Hotel (214 Main), the MacDonald Block (226 Main), and the Fortune Block (232 Main, home to the Times Change(d) blues bar).
The owners of the three buildings have an offer to sell them to a Toronto development group, which wants to demolish the properties and construct a $35-million, 150-unit hotel on the site.
But businessman John Pollard, co-CEO of Pollard Banknote, wants to buy the buildings and refurbish them.
The Toronto developers said they wouldn’t proceed with their hotel project if the city placed a heritage designation on the buildings, arguing the redevelopment restrictions to protect the buildings’ exteriors would make the project unprofitable.
While Pollard doesn’t have a deal to buy the buildings, he said he’s less interested in making a profit and wants to restore the buildings to their old glory.
Pollard still has to negotiate with the current owners and present a development plan to city hall.