June 15, 2019

Winnipeg
19° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

St. Charles owner fights heritage label in court action

Wants to demolish building

Owner Ken Zaifman bought the hotel in 2005 and later pledged to turn it into a boutique hotel. Now he wants to demolish it.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Owner Ken Zaifman bought the hotel in 2005 and later pledged to turn it into a boutique hotel. Now he wants to demolish it.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/2/2014 (1932 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The owner of the St. Charles Hotel has taken the City of Winnipeg to court to remove the historic designation from the 101-year-old Exchange District structure, which he hopes to demolish.

Immigration lawyer Ken Zaifman wants the city to remove a heritage caveat from the title of the hotel, which he purchased in 2005 for $800,000 and later pledged to redevelop into a boutique hotel.

In documents filed with the Court of Queen's Bench, Zaifman argued he wasn't aware the building was designated a historic property when he bought it and likely would not have made the purchase had he known that.

Zaifman also argued the caveat should be removed because the city missed a December 2011 deadline for placing the caveat on the building -- something the province ordered the city to do for all heritage buildings as part of an amendment to the City of Winnipeg Charter the previous year.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Keep reading free:

I agree to the Terms and Conditions, Cookie and Privacy Policies, and CASL agreement.

 

Already have an account?

Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/2/2014 (1932 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The owner of the St. Charles Hotel has taken the City of Winnipeg to court to remove the historic designation from the 101-year-old Exchange District structure, which he hopes to demolish.

Immigration lawyer Ken Zaifman wants the city to remove a heritage caveat from the title of the hotel, which he purchased in 2005 for $800,000 and later pledged to redevelop into a boutique hotel.

In documents filed with the Court of Queen's Bench, Zaifman argued he wasn't aware the building was designated a historic property when he bought it and likely would not have made the purchase had he known that.

Zaifman also argued the caveat should be removed because the city missed a December 2011 deadline for placing the caveat on the building — something the province ordered the city to do for all heritage buildings as part of an amendment to the City of Winnipeg Charter the previous year.

'Going the legal route is not an option I embraced with any enthusiasm'— Ken Zaifman

Zaifman told the Free Press he has applied for a demolition permit and asked the city to remove the caveat, but the city refused.

"Going the legal route is not an option I embraced with any enthusiasm," he said.

In an affidavit, Zaifman said he always intended to redevelop the property, "which in my view requires the demolition of the premises in order to make way for a new structure."

The city countered in its own affidavit that Zaifman was aware the St. Charles was a heritage structure because the corporation he controls, St. Charles Enterprises Centre, is the entity that applied for the historic designation in the first place.

City lawyer Markus Buchart said even if Zaifman didn't know about the designation, it was incumbent on his attorneys to find out it was a historic building because the list of those buildings is a public document.

Buchart nonetheless insisted Zaifman was aware it was a historic building and cited as evidence a meeting between Zaifman and city heritage officials, as well as a 2004 email from Zaifman to former city heritage planner Giles Bugailiskis during which Zaifman stated he expected to work with the city's historic buildings committee.

On Feb. 21, Buchart asked the court to throw out the case.

Zaifman's lawyer, Jamie Kagan, said his client only met with city heritage officials because the St. Charles Hotel is located within the Exchange District National Historic Site, a federally designated area.

Kagan also said it doesn't matter whether his client knew about the historic designation. What's more important, he said, is the city missed the deadline for placing the caveat on the property by two months. The heritage caveat should have been placed in December 2011 but was not placed on the title until February 2012.

This argument will be presented when the case returns to court March 17.

Buchart, meanwhile, claimed the two-month delay in placing the caveat caused Zaifman no harm. Buchart also noted Zaifman did not apply to remove the historic designation from the building — an option available to the owner of any heritage structure.

Zaifman said in an interview he always maintained an open mind about preserving the building. "I didn't go into the project with the predisposition to demolish it. No one seems to want to accept this, because of the delay," he said, referring to the eight years it has taken to redevelop the structure.

Zaifman first approached the city with a plan to redevelop the hotel in 2006. But his initial proposal depended on the demolition the adjacent Albert Street Business Block — something the city refused until substantial improvements were made to the St. Charles. The business block later burned down.

As the hotel stood vacant, the city began slapping vacant-and derelict-building orders on the structure in 2010. Those orders continued until 2013, when the city came close to seizing the property with the intention of selling it.

Zaifman said pressure from the city and criticism from Heritage Winnipeg led him to review his documents and discover the city failed to meet the provincial deadline. City spokesman Steve West said the city is contesting the action.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 7:42 PM CST: Changes photo.

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

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

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

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us