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Less than worthless: Real-estate appraisal deems Winnipeg HBC building worth $0
WINNIPEG – The Hudson’s Bay Company’s 93-year-old flagship Winnipeg store is worth absolutely nothing, according to an appraisal from a real-estate evaluator.
The building is worth a whopping $0, and it would actually cost millions to sell the building, an appraisal report from Cushman & Wakefield ULC shows of the historic property.
CTV News has obtained a copy of the report, which suggests the department store, currently owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company, would actually cost less than that, as the report shows the building has a current tax liability of $302,298.
“The cost of demolition may actually be more than the land value of the property so therefore you’re at zero or below zero on the true value,” said John Pearson, the president of ICI Properties, Shindico, a property development company.
Pearson said his company has explored repurposing the building over the years - with several clients like the University of Winnipeg and Manitoba Hydro.
“The outcome unfortunately in every event, the building did not fit the requirements.”
He said the multi-storey, 630 thousand square foot building - originally meant as a retail space — needs substantial investment and it just doesn’t fit today’s building requirements.
“There may be somebody out there much smarter than ourselves that might have a miraculous idea. So I never want to say never but in our opinion, the property is at the end of its useful life.”
The report said the building received an extensive $4 million update to the first, second, and third floors in 1986 and 1987. Another $900,000 was used to repair the sixth and fourth floors, as well as the basement
The building, more than 600,000 sq. feet, has had a tough go of it in its recent history.
In 2010, the basement was converted to a Zellers store, which closed down three years later in March 2013.
Earlier that same year, the iconic Paddlewheel restaurant on the sixth floor, was closed down after nearly 60 years in business.
Currently three floors are permanently closed.
In March, the City of Winnipeg voted to give the department store a heritage designation -- which means any buyer would be unable to demolish it.
“On every level this meets the criteria as a beautiful heritage building,” said Cindy Tugwell, the executive Director of Heritage Winnipeg. “Some of these buildings need that time with the right owner. Timing is everything and we just need that time to figure it out as a community because it’s too important to lose.”
-With files from CTV's Michelle Gerwing