Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Just getting started

Average City blog notes that the City is accepting bids on the demolition of the small commercial block at 668-72 Main Street.

Funny how the City of Winnipeg is hiring a demolition company (the best business in town!) to demolish someone else's building. According to one source at the development end of the City, this building is currently owned by owners of the nearby Sun Wah Supermarket. Their plan has been, for several years now, to demolish as much of that stretch of Main Street between Henry and Higgins as possible, to expand the supermarket's parking lot onto Main.

Main Street from Higgins Ave., 2006

That may sound repulsive for reasons that do not need explaining, but far from a new precedent. The City Hall of that progressive planning sage Glen Murray had no qualms with the same owners 'building' a large fenced-off surface parking lot on Main one block south for another of their holdings, the Kum Koon Gardens restaurant. And then there is, of course, last year's blameless blunder known as the WRHA's hulking parkade, that fronts onto Main Street.

The City will reportedly be slapping the cost of demolition onto the owner's property tax bill (way to play hardball), but what would the City be doing paying someone else's demolition bill in the first place if Centre Venture Development Corp. was not assisting Sun Wah with their parking lot expansion plans.

Assisting the Sun Wah with demolishing this strip (including the 110-year-old Bell Hardware building at 666 Main) has been the second phase of Centre Venture's "Heart of Gold" plan for Main Street (the WRHA building was phase one). Last year, a small commercial building on the SW corner of Main and Henry was owned by the same people before being "assembled" by Centre Venture for the WRHA parkade. It worked out great for them: they could let a building they didn't want rot from inside-out over the years, and the City bought it for above market value and paid the demolition costs. They are clearly showing the same care for property at 668-72 Main, as this photo shows:

668 Main, Summer 2008


Blogger MacD said...

Sun Wah Supermarket huh? A little bit of good old fashioned asian demolition a la Peking. Out with the old!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I wonder who thought the rooftop garden was a good idea.

11:11 AM  

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