By RTH Staff
Published November 28, 2008
Yesterday, RTH published an essay by Sean Burak arguing that the city should move its staff to City Centre permanently.
Last night, in an online forum debating City Hall, Councillor Bob Bratina posted an economic argument in favour of such a move.
First, he compares the renovation cost per square foot, noting that City Centre at $110 per square foot compares well with City Hall ($375/sq. ft.) and Lister Block ($416/sq. ft.).He also argues that the city could sell City Hall for $10-15 million with a requirement that the new owner retain the building's heritage attributes. With the savings, the city could afford to retain the marble. If the city sells to a private investor, the site will generate property tax on the order of $1.5-2 million a year.
He adds that the projected cost of renovating City Hall is still uncertain and could rise to $100 million and concludes, "to carry on withour current plan in lgiht of the current economy would be calamitous."
To pay for this extravagance we will push ourselves to the debt wall, eliminating any possibility for LRT, and incapable of providing for some extreme unforseen situation.
City staff are studying Bratina's proposal.