Councillor Bob Bratina (Ward 2, downtown) just replied to my letter to Council with another appeal to his fellow Councillors to consider selling City Hall, a case he has made previously on more than one occasion, but to no avail.
His reply is as follows:
The best solution to City Hall would be to sell it. There's a very good chance the building could be retained with all of its heritage attributes, including marble, under private ownership.
The building floorplates are actually better suited to other uses, such as hotel or residential, and not well-suited as an office building, as all of us understood in working there.
The renovation costs completely defy reality. The Camco building, which is a similar steel-girder frame building, is being renovated for about $130 dollars per square foot, as opposed to $390 dollars per square foot [for City Hall], triple the price.
The renovation of the Victoria-MacKay building across from the Cenotaph - a building that was vacant for 30 years and almost completely rotten, with a national heritage designation for its metal cladding - was done for less than $90 dollars per square foot.
So we are paying for two outrageously expensive buildings - City Hall and the Lister Block - at double, triple, and perhaps even quardruple typical building costs, then having to endure sad jokes like making a human terrarium under the Council chamber.
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