Saturday, July 20, 2019

Developer says design delays holding back former Saskatoon police station revitalization project

While the developers behind two proposed downtown office buildings have pledged to start construction in the next few weeks, the new owner of Saskatoon’s old police station has been slow to begin transforming the building into what has been described as 60,900 square feet of “best-in-class” office space.

City council approved the sale of the 41-year-old building to Duchuck Holdings Ltd. for $10.7 million late last year. At the time, a spokesman for the company said it would finalize plans once tenants had been secured. As of last week, however, the company had not applied for or received a building permit in 2017, according to city records.

Almost six months after the sale closed, the massive property — which has been vacant since the police moved to a new station on 25th Street East in 2014, and also includes the parking lot on the corner of Fourth Avenue and 23rd Street — is still adorned with ‘For Lease’ signs.

“Just the design of the build is taking longer (than expected) to complete,” sad ICR Commercial Real Estate partner Barry Stuart, who brokered the deal and spoke on behalf of Duchuck Holdings president Brent Suer. The building’s boilers are expected to be replaced this fall, and work on the new exterior will likely start in the spring, Stuart added.

Stuart added that the project will “to the best of our knowledge” be the first major refurbishment in the city to target a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold standard. While a cost estimate for the revitalization is not yet available, it is “undoubtedly” going forward, he said.

Meanwhile, at least two other major construction projects in the downtown core are expected to get underway soon.

Work is expected to begin this month on the first of two office towers at the south downtown River Landing site, a spokesman for Triovest Realtors Advisors Inc., one of the partners behind the $300 million development, said last week. Another partner, Greystone Managed Investments Inc., has confirmed that MLT Aikins LLP will be one of the building’s tenants.

Keep reading in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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