Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/9/2014 (1872 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Mayoral candidate Paula Havixbeck says the current administration at city hall has allowed the Civic Centre Parkade to languish for two years and she promises to deal with the property and the neighbouring Public Safety Building.
Havixbeck said after the parkade was abruptly shut down two years ago because it was structurally unsound, she’s been waiting for a plan to be brought forward.
"I haven’t seen anything happen on that – not even a report," Havixbeck said. "I’m saying I’m going to get it going."
However, council at its May meeting approved a plan to reuse the PSB after police move out and to begin disposition of the parkade property.
The plan involves hiring a consultant who will look at downtown market conditions and assess how other civic department might use the Princess Street property.
Police are moving out of the PSB because it was thought to be cheaper to buy and renovate the old Canada Post building on Smith Street rather than reclad the exterior of the PSB. The exterior stone siding has been secured to the walls to prevent it from falling off.
The PSB property cannot be sold for development. The land was deeded to the city on condition it be used for civic purposes and if not, ownership reverts to the descendants of the family who originally donated the property.
At that May meeting, council approved spending $150,000 to further secure and shore up both the parkade and the PSB.
The administrative report said there are several options for both parcels of land, including:
Mayor Sam Katz said he expected the consultant’s report would determine which civic department would be best suited to relocate into the PSB building, most likely to coincide when a lease expires.
The consultant is expected to bring a report to the downtown development committee.
Havixbeck said she would like the parkade to be developed as a public-private partnership (P3) – with the city retaining ownership but a developer taking over development and all associated costs.
Havixbeck said she envisions the parkade land to be developed with possible housing and retail, maybe even a grocery, and to include a parkade.
Parking around city hall is scarce, she said, and another parkade would be ideal for the location.
Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.
Updated on Monday, September 29, 2014 at 1:21 PM CDT: Fixes street name