Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

History is not on their side

Owner wants building delisted

  • Print

The dream of breathing new life into a long-vacant Main Street heritage building has turned into a nightmare for a local developer.

Mark Buleziuk, an auctioneer and owner of, a Winnipeg boutique development firm, and his wife, Shelley, decided nearly four years ago to spend several million dollars on revitalizing the 100-year-old Scott Block at 272 Main St. The plan was to restore the building's original heritage features and turn it into a modern retail/office complex with a completely renovated interior and new elevator and mechanical systems.

However, the city's historical buildings and resources committee was told last week those plans hit a major roadblock after changes were made to the floors in the building which rendered it unsafe to occupy. So the city has refused to issue an occupancy permit until the problem is corrected.

The committee was told Buleziuk has since filed a lawsuit in Manitoba Court of Queen's bench over the allegedly botched renovation work. In the meantime, he's stuck with a building he can't rent out, and he has told city officials it's cost-prohibitive for him to continue carrying a vacant building that isn't generating any rental income.

He wants to sell the property, but potential buyers have said they're not interested in purchasing it if it has a historical-building designation.

Last Thursday, Buleziuk appeared before the city's historical buildings committee asking that the building be removed from the historical buildings list, even though it was at his request that it was added to the list in 2012.

However, the advisory committee, which consists of heritage and planning experts from the private sector and all three levels of government, concluded there is no justification for delisting it. So it's recommending the city's standing committee on downtown development and heritage deny Buleziuk's request.

City Coun. Jenny Gerbasi, who chairs the historical buildings committee, said the features of the building that led to it being designated a historical building are still there and won't be affected by any remediation work that needs to be done to make the building safe for occupancy.

"So from the committee's point of view, there is no justification whatsoever for delisting it," she said. "It's a heritage asset that's important to the streetscape and for a number of other reasons, and the city has to protect its heritage assets."

The committee members also took the position Buleziuk's financial issues have no bearing on the heritage status of the building, she added.

Heritage Winnipeg, which presented the Buleziuks with a Preservation Award earlier this year for exposing and restoring the building's original facade, is also adamantly opposed to it being delisted.

Executive director Cindy Tugwell, who attended last week's committee meeting, said the group fears if the building is delisted, it will be demolished to make way for a new development.

"Why else would you go for a delisting?" she added.

She's also worried about the precedent it would set, fearing it could lead to other building owners asking to have their buildings delisted because of the cost to maintain the designation.

"A historical designation is convenient when they (building owners) want tax credits or grants, but not convenient if they run into problems and want to (tear) it down," she added.

Tugwell said it's her understanding the structural problems arose when they poured new concrete floors and made them too thick, and the extra weight has made the building structurally unsound.

Buleziuk and city officials were unavailable for comment. Gerbasi said the matter now has to go before the standing committee on downtown development and heritage at either its September or November meeting.

"Ultimately that committee will decide (whether to delist the building)," she added.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 23, 2014 B5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Full analysis: Manitoba Moose are back in Winnipeg

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Should the August civic holiday be renamed to honour Terry Fox?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google