City Council has approved the sale of the Oliver Building in downtown Lethbridge located at 316 - 5 St. S. The building will be sold to the highest evaluated bidder, Hegnberg Ltd., for the purchase price of $9,500. The new owners will also be required to adhere to the recently approved direct control land use bylaw.
On May 16, Council approved rezoning the Oliver Building land use from downtown commercial to direct control. This excludes certain uses for the land such as auto body and/or paint shop, automotive, parking facility, vehicle sales/rental and service stations. It also provides the new owners with development guidance for the design, character and appearance of the street frontage façade.
"We are excited that the Oliver Building has new owners," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "We know this is a prime piece of downtown real estate that has sat vacant for too long. We look forward to seeing new life given to this property."
The Oliver Building was surrendered to the City in 2014 as a property tax settlement and has been vacant for several years. Prior to being turned over to the City, the century-old building had fallen badly into disrepair.
In July 2015, a Request for Proposals was issued for this property. This process was unsuccessful, and the City reassessed its strategy, putting it up for sale on a bid basis. The City received three bids on the property which were evaluated based on the offered purchase price and any conditions attached.
"Thriving cities have vibrant downtowns," says Councillor Ryan Parker, Heart of Our City Committee representative. "We've put a strong focus on the redevelopment of our downtown and this is another exciting step toward achieving the goals outlined in our Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan and the Heart of Our City Master Plan."
The direct control land use approved for the building will ensure the key design elements of the existing Oliver Building façade and the era of original construction are either retained or replicated.
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