Downtown temple up for sale again

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THE Masonic Temple is back on the market, but a local engineer hasn't given up on his plan to bring the historic Donald Street building back to life.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/10/2010 (4373 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

THE Masonic Temple is back on the market, but a local engineer hasn’t given up on his plan to bring the historic Donald Street building back to life.

Restaurateur Peter Ginakes and business partner Bob Harris have re-listed the three-storey building for sale or rent after engineer Dan Wolfrom of Wolfrom Engineering failed to exercise his 2 1/2-year-old option to purchase the property.

Wolfrom said the door’s open for him to come back with a new purchase offer for the 115-year-old, 16,000-square-foot building — formerly home to a Mother Tucker’s restaurant. But first he needs to come up with an economically feasible plan.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Masonic Temple is one of the sites pegged for redevelopment near MTS Centre.

Wolfrom originally wanted to convert the former temple into a mixed-use building that would feature a restaurant or another retail operation on the main floor, his firm’s offices on the second floor and six loft-style apartments on the third.

But when his employees balked at relocating from Osborne Village, Wolfrom decided instead to try converting the entire building into apartments. That would enable him to qualify for a bigger grant under the new city-provincial Downtown Residential Development Grant program, thereby improving the economics of the project.

He said his firm has already spent about $150,000 to clean up the building and get it ready for redevelopment.

His latest plan would see the building divided into 24 to 30 studio and one-bedroom apartments, likely less than 500 square feet in size. He’s waiting to hear how much grant money would be available.

The Masonic Temple, at the southeast corner of Donald Street and Ellice Avenue, is one of a number of properties within a few blocks of the MTS Centre that have been targeted for redevelopment.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

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