Comment 17196

By jason (registered) | Posted January 15, 2008 at 15:12:24

I hope it's a positive step. If the city is going to negotiate to buy and own this place, they need to ensure that 'we' own a profitable and well-renovated property. In other words, LIUNA's recent plan which removed ALL streetfront retail should be unacceptable to council. Little cubicles with frosted glass windows creating a dreary and blank streetscape (like the old Eatons store on York) should be be allowed by the city. Furthermore, the city doesn't want to end up owning a building that it can't lease. Perhaps now is the time to direct LIUNA to renovate it into condos/apartments with some professional offices and ground level retail instead of filling the entire building with little cubicles. If there were gobs of money to be made by leasing the space, LIUNA would keep it and lease it themselves. I fear a cheap, tacky reno that fills LIUNA's pocket with money once the city purchases the property, only to now have the city own an empty, yet renovated, building. Sure, that's slightly better than an empty, decaying building, but not necessarily a recipe for success. Mixed-use with an animated streetscape is necessary in order for the city to have success in finding tenants for this wonderful building.

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