Comment 16888

By statius (registered) | Posted January 09, 2008 at 13:23:42


You write: "Thanks for an informative take on expropriation law. As for your closing comment, what LIUNA wished was to demolish Lister and build unnecessary office space with the city picking up the tab."

Agreed. My concern is simply that demolition might be unavoidable, given that LIUNA could very easily stall any sort of development or preservation of the building through protracted litigation, thus leading to the continued decay of the building, perhaps to such a point that it could no longer be deemed fit for restoration. This is, as I'm sure you know, a common and effective tactic employed by deep-pocketed owners of heritage properties who wish to tear down and build anew. It is a systemic flaw in our heritage protection regime which will not be rectified anytime soon.

Thus it seems to me that LIUNA really can hold the Lister hostage, with very few realistic options open to the city other than to pay the exorbitant ransom. As hard as it may be, it may simply be time to abandon any interest in the site and seek major development elsewhere in the core. A sale or redevelopment of the Lister (in whatever form) would surely follow in due course.

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