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Brighton Block Redevelopment - Under Construction

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  • Yikes
    Just enjoying another day in paradise.

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    • That's awesome!


      Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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      • some storefront to wrap those addresses...

        "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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        • Super. Getting closer by the day
          Just enjoying another day in paradise.

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          • Long time lurker, first time poster. Just wanted to say this is probably the most exciting development for me in Edmonton over the past little while. Absolutely love what has been done to keep it original but update it with the glazing/extra floors. This will be an excellent boost to East Jasper/the Quarters. I hope this spurs further development and confidence in the area. My company did a little work here and I probably spent a little more time than necessary with site visits, haha. Just so lovely to look at.

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            • Originally posted by Komrade View Post
              Beautiful! Need more people like you Ken investing into the city and seeing potential in Historical Properties and doing their best for preservation. Bravo!
              Agreed!

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              • Originally posted by kcantor View Post
                some storefront to wrap those addresses...


                Truly inspiring.

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                • The challenges of preserving architectural heritage.

                  Heritage funding requests for Brighton Block, Strathcona Hotel renewals drastically exceed city budget

                  Ken Cantor’s Primavera Development Group is behind the 35,000-square-foot redesign of the storied 1912 Brighton Block, looking to transform the three-storey brick building along Jasper Avenue into a six-storey commercial and retail space. With the total project amounting to $15 million, the city said it would be eligible for an unprecedented $566,636 under the grant program. The major construction work on the building is expected to be complete in the next few weeks.


                  After purchasing the building from the Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta in 2017, Cantor said the building was facing significant damage. But he said the group sees the value in going through with the project they started.


                  “As a city and owners, I think we need to pay more attention to our buildings and our building stock before they’re heritage buildings,” Cantor said. “Right now we ignore them until they’re old, we ignore them until they’re heritage and we allow them to deteriorate with very little consequences … it’s almost as if that’s what we expect.”

                  https://edmontonjournal.com/news/loc...-city-capacity

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                  • Update

                    City to finance $1 million for Brighton Block, Strathcona Hotel projects, amidst heritage fund capacity concerns

                    Councillors are asking the city to grant exceptions for the amount of maintenance dollars awarded to the costly redevelopment of two historic buildings as the city grapples to find alternatives for the depleted heritage fund.


                    Developers behind the Brighton Block and Strathcona Hotel projects received welcome news from the urban planning committee Tuesday morning with councillors touting the importance of restoring the city’s storied buildings and pushing for more than $1 million in funding requests to go forward.


                    Eligible maintenance grants agreed upon by the city total $566,636 for the Brighton Block and just under $464,000 for the Strathcona Hotel. But these requests considerably exceed the city’s current cap of $50,000 every five years.

                    ---

                    In its current form, the heritage reserve receives $1.9 million annually through a tax levy to provide incentives for buildings designated historic resources. The reserve is expected to dip down to $340,000 at the end of 2020 and additional designations or requests could make an even larger dent.


                    With the inventory continuing to expand, now including 157 buildings, alternative solutions need to be found in order to meet the growing demand.


                    https://edmontonjournal.com/news/loc...acity-concerns

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                    • Originally posted by TennisBalls View Post
                      Long time lurker, first time poster. Just wanted to say this is probably the most exciting development for me in Edmonton over the past little while. Absolutely love what has been done to keep it original but update it with the glazing/extra floors. This will be an excellent boost to East Jasper/the Quarters. I hope this spurs further development and confidence in the area. My company did a little work here and I probably spent a little more time than necessary with site visits, haha. Just so lovely to look at.
                      Welcome to the forum! And completely agree...great little project.
                      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits" - Einstein

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                      • ^^ ^^^

                        some background regarding the updates...

                        one of the things that is not apparent in the reporting is that even if a grant application is successful, the city doesn't pay for all of the cost of the work approved under the grant request. when a building is first designated as a heritage structure, certain specific costs relating directly to the rehabilitation of the heritage aspects of the building are paid for by the owner and are eligible for a 50% reimbursement. following the initial designation, the building may be eligible for a maintenance grant which is equal to a 33% reimbursement of those same specific costs relating to the heritage aspects but to a maximum of $50,000 every five years.

                        the brighton block and the strathcona hotel are currently struggling with having been previously designated – and for relatively small amounts of money - without having been adequately maintained since.

                        administration’s reports and attachments were quite thorough even though i don’t agree with all of their analysis; with the forced requirement to apply out-dated policy (which is a broader discussion the city needs to address); and, in several cases, with their math. having said that, i would also be remiss if i did not thank administration for their ongoing assistance and support for our efforts to rehabilitate the brighton block from the beginning. they have been a valued and integral member of the team despite having made absolutely no representations as to what may or may not be available in terms of grant monies as that is a council decision, not an administrative one.

                        as most here know, the brighton block was built as two separate buildings between 1911 and 1913 and was continuously occupied for the first nine decades of its existence. it is our hope that will be the case for the next nine decades. the intervening decade and a half however, was not kind to the Brighton Block.

                        as noted in administration’s report, “in the period since its designation, the Brighton Block had fallen into an advanced state of disrepair”. by 2016, it was open to the elements, the main floor was under 3” of water, large areas were completely covered in pigeon guano and there were mushrooms growing in the middle of the second floor. there was no functioning mechanical or electrical equipment (in fact there was no mechanical or electrical equipment in the building at all) and portions of the wood frame structure were in disrepair.

                        in addition to inspecting the building, our due diligence included an analysis of the building’s history and the contractual obligations between previous owners and the city of edmonton. these required a building maintenance plan along with regular annual inspections, they required major inspections every five years and for the preparation of remedial work plans as needed. in all of these areas, the city had the right to complete the work at the owner’s expense. if all of that had taken place, looking past the obvious, how bad could it be?

                        we budgeted $400,000 to address the obviously deferred maintenance and planned to work with the existing structure and foundations without expecting grant monies to support that. the more information we were able to gather however, the more apparent it became that that was simply not going to be possible. by this time, the only ones that were happy with the brighton block were the pigeons and the occasional feral cat.

                        the wood frame structure was deemed to be unsalvageable and concrete bearing walls and foundations turned out to be structurally unsound. the only option was a complete demolition and reconstruction while still trying to maintain the historic exterior facades. furthermore, without immediate and drastic intervention, the brighton block would in short order have suffered the same fate as the gem theatre. by then, as owner and steward of the brighton block, we were not prepared to see that happen and proceeded to undertake and complete what needed doing without any commitments from anywhere else.

                        code and architectural requirements along with existing window locations became key design drivers. constructability and structural requirements determined cast in place concrete to be the most appropriate method to salvage the brighton block and most of what was undertaken since has been well documented here. what wasn't documented here was how our rehabilitation costs for the brighton block went from $400,000 to more than $3,400,000 (noting that’s not even the total construction or project budget, that’s just the money spent rehabilitating the original historic elements of the building.

                        in terms of our request, there is no windfall here for primavera. even if the city accepts 100% of the costs we feel are appropriate and treats them as rehabilitation. at 50%, our shareholders will have invested more than $1,700,000 in the historic preservation of a previously designated historic building. if they are accepted in full but treated as maintenance at 33% along with relaxing the policy’s stated cap, we will have invested more than $2,200,000 in the historic preservation of a previously designated building.

                        even with the potential of some reimbursement, projects like the brighton block and the strathcona hotel are labours of love and not simply a means to make money for those of us that take them on. if it was just a matter of making money, it would be a easier and less expensive and less risky to simply buy a vacant piece of land and build the same amount of space from scratch.

                        there's just something special about being able to successfully complete something like the brighton block which in many ways is much more intricate and more complex than something like epcor tower because it's smaller (the total area of all of the floors of the brighton block is smaller than the main floor footprint of the epcor tower) and because it's much easier to absorb an additional cost when you can spread it out over 650,000 sf than when you can only spread it out over 35,000 sf.
                        Last edited by kcantor; 16-10-2019, 02:26 PM.
                        "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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                        • Thanks for the background story Ken.

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                          • Thanks for the peek behind the scenes Ken.

                            Unfortunately:

                            as noted in administration’s report, “in the period since its designation, the Brighton Block had fallen into an advanced state of disrepair”. by 2016, it was open to the elements, the main floor was under 3” of water, large areas were completely covered in pigeon guano and there were mushrooms growing in the middle of the second floor. there was no functioning mechanical or electrical equipment (in fact there was no mechanical or electrical equipment in the building at all) and portions of the wood frame structure were in disrepair.
                            Is all too often par for the course in Edmonton.

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                            • Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
                              Thanks for the peek behind the scenes Ken.

                              Unfortunately:

                              as noted in administration’s report, “in the period since its designation, the Brighton Block had fallen into an advanced state of disrepair”. by 2016, it was open to the elements, the main floor was under 3” of water, large areas were completely covered in pigeon guano and there were mushrooms growing in the middle of the second floor. there was no functioning mechanical or electrical equipment (in fact there was no mechanical or electrical equipment in the building at all) and portions of the wood frame structure were in disrepair.
                              Is all too often par for the course in Edmonton.
                              I don't think it is a uniquely Edmonton thing, but we do seem to not fully appreciate or know how to maintain our older buildings. Maybe its because culturally we have a history of always building bigger newer things and we haven't really matured yet as a city.

                              In any event, it sure is a prime example of being penny wise pound foolish. It is good to see this building restored, despite the fact things fell into a deeper hole than realized. I really hope there are some lessons to be learned by the city administration and their bureaucrats from all this, but I am not too hopeful about that bunch.

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                              • But how does the CoE maintain buildings it doesn't own?
                                I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

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