Comment 93120

By MaggieSteele (registered) | Posted October 10, 2013 at 17:39:03

I am the Realtor for the Church and Louie Santaguida of Stanton Renaissance. Check the City of Hamilton - Property/Tax Information, its their assessment. The Church had it was appraised for sale purposes with the appraiser having read the building condition assessment report and it came in just over half that. That appraisal is without the 3 engineer's findings. Besides the building condition report which called for 3 millions in only repairs to the exterior slate and stone, there have been 3 different engineers all with Heritage experience give the same report/assessment. How many reports do we need stating the same facts. The church has been trying to get financial assistance from the City for years. They took their condition report to several staff members with no help offered. The north and west walls are unstable. The building was not constructed correctly in the first place. A hundred years of water getting inside the roof and stone and the frost thaw affect has the walls bulging and the mortar that was once in between the exterior walls is now sand and has been sliding in for years. The Church has put a lot of money into the building trying to keep up with its needs but simply couldn't any longer. Their money was going into the building and not to their ministries. Speak to the Pastor Don Berry-Graham, Music Director Christopher Clause, the trustees, the janitor, the congregation members and they will all say the same thing - they have been picking up debris and rocks and bagging sand for years. It became apparent in January that things had worsened and the Pastor called in an engineer who told them that the north west tower is unstable and could come down next week or next year but that it was coming down for sure and with it the north and west unstable walls. What are we waiting for? The engineer told them they should never go in the tower ever again and they cordoned it off. They decided to vacate the building for their safety. I called in the City as I felt the building was unsaleable in its condition with the Heritage Designation. Two city officials came in and agreed with their decision to vacate and said they would come back and make sure they were vacating and that within a week they would order the church to provide an engineer's report and post the front and driveway doors restricting public access to the building. That same day Drew Hauser brings Louie Santaguida to the building and he instructs me to prepare an offer. A crew of city hall officials came back thru January 24th and tell me they will get back to me with their decision. The church lowers their price to hopefully stimulate an offer. Louie's and another offer are presented on the weekend and the church specifically chose Louie's based on past projects and the reputation of Drew Hauser and McCallum Sather and the fact that they believed he would be proactive in his process for partial demolition and not let the building sit for years causing a safety issue to the public. The Pastor and the Music Director liked Louie's idea to keep what he could but felt that its an unsafe decision and that the whole building should come down. On Monday January 28th, I leave a message with City Hall officials that the building has sold and we never hear from them again. If Louie had not bought the building, the church was ready to walk away and hand it over to the City. There are no pockets deep enough to save this building and make it an economically viable investment. On yesterday's site inspection we saw two more areas where large amounts of sand had poured in thru the walls and large stones fallen in the sanctuary. This time, we need to believe, trust and listen.

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