But the Whalen Building, which houses the CEDC, Tornado and other companies revitalizing that downtown core was a great concern for some councillors Monday. The building, which came into the city’s possession in 2006, will cost more than $6 million to renovate council learned. Coun. Lynda Rydholm said that caught most of council off guard.
“These numbers come as a surprise to most if not all of us,” Rydholm said.
About $900,000, from reserve funds generated by rent, has been spent on the inside of the building, which was constructed in 1913, so far. But the terra-cotta exterior needs to be renovated.
Council approved a $117,000 contract for constancy work Monday, but councillors were more concerned with the overall cost of the building, which has heritage status. About $1.3 million for terra-cotta repairs was approved in the 2011 capital budget.
Coun. Mark Bentz said with some estimates as high as $10 million for the building, that’s a lot of money to repair one building when the city’s entire infrastructure deficit is $15 million. Bentz was told that the city couldn’t realistically recoup all of the renovation costs through tenants and still keep rent competitive. – May 2, 2011 Tbaynewswatch
The Whalen Building requiring as much as $10 million in repair work…. Hmmmm. That number sounds familiar. Where have I heard that number before? Here’s a clue.
The irony here is that the people that will work in the spanking new $11 million plus TBDSSAB building are now located in the Whalen Building.
Lets review. The City of Thunder Bay is spending $11 million plus to construct a new building to house employees whose offices are presently located in a city owned heritage building that will require $10 million in repairs/upgrades very soon. Surprise!
Questions must be asked as to how long these required repairs were known to City Admin. I am sure, Ian Angus, Councilor-at-Large/DSSAB Chairman, will have had a difficult time justifying the construction of a brand new building if these maintenance costs were made public sooner. I believe there is some explaining to be done by some of our highly paid City Administration employees.
Interesting, is it not?