Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Saved for now

Sport Manitoba has backed away from its plans to demolish the Smart Bag Co. building, and this morning Council's Property Planning and Development committee voted unanimously to give the building a Grade III heritage designation. That is, until Sport Manitoba procures the funds to build phase two of their project...

WFP - "Sport Manitoba backs away from plan to demolish part of 125-year-old building"


I didn't know there were so many Objectivist Anarcho-capitalists in Winnipeg: they all seem to come out of the wood work to defend property rights and oppose state intervention in demolition plans, ie, heritage laws, whenever a heritage building is threatened. Unfortunately there are so few examples of this that are so black and white. As one anonymous commentator said in an earlier post:

"The "it's my building" proponents here - who I have some sympathy with - are missing an important point. Yes, the guy has the right to knock down his building to meet the needs of his client.

But we all know - come on, we KNOW - that the client isn't some guy off the street doing this to increase economic activity and invest in Winnipeg.

The intended tenant is Sport Manitoba, a creature of government, and I'd bet $100 that CentreVenture lured them north with some promise of incentives, once again financed by government, hoping to add another easy public deal to their thin list of announceable triumphs with other public agencies. Look again at the list: WHRA, Red River, and now Sport Manitoba?

If these 'clients' or 'buyers' or whoever (I assume Sport MB is working through a developer) didn't have public subsidies to make the deal work, would the owner of the building ever have bothered to empty out his tenants for this deal in the first place?

The real issue isn't poor owner's choices in the downtown; it's the buyer's choices.

And the buyer of choice is... US."


Blogger 1ajs said...

getting the gr3 historic buildings listing also makes this project qualify for tax credits......

i hope they can up the caliber of architecture and do somthing like rrc did on princess

also being there money from the province going into this does it not need to meet leeds?

8:28 AM  

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