While the city and owner David McGee prepare for an April 8 court date, the Sutherland Press building is now the subject of a power of sale listing.
The four-storey structure was listed for sale on March 19, three days prior to a meeting in a London courtroom where McGee attempted to halt a second attempt by the city to demolish the building that dates back to 1913.
The two sides are scheduled to appear again April 8 at the Elgin County Courthouse.
According to the listing posted by a London realtor, the Sutherland Press building is offered at $99,888 and is being sold under power of sale by E & M Cavaco.
It is described as “located in the heart of St. Thomas, approx. 7,000 sq. ft. per floor with ceiling heights of 12 feet.”
Included with the listing are several highly stylized drawings depicting a fully refurbished structure with glassed-in rooftop atrium, bay windows on the first two floors along Moore St., and commercial ventures off Talbot St.
The floor plans – possibly similar to the condominium proposal floated by McGee almost a decade ago – depict 20 studio units, 26 one-bedroom units and a pair of two-bedroom units.
McGee received a letter March 21 indicating the city would begin demolition of the structure this week.
He told the Times-Journal at the time it is still his intention to convert the building into condominium units.
“Unfortunately my timetable doesn’t jive with what the city is looking for and so we have a problem right now,” said McGee. “I’m frustrated by this whole situation and I’m sure other people are too, but I don’t think the solution is to demolish buildings. It doesn’t make sense for anybody.”
In June of 2008, city council unanimously approved awarding a $154,500 tender to St. Pierre Construction to demolish the structure. But in late July of that year, demolition was halted when Justice Peter Hockin ruled in favour of McGee’s request for leave of appeal, disputing a decision made by Justice David Little 10 days earlier that gave the city a green light to start dismantling the building.”
Since then, the structure has continued to deteriorate and safety concerns following a partial collapse of the southwest corner of the roof last September forced the city to issue an emergency order calling on McGee to stabilize the structure.
“We did a whole bunch of shoring and I put another $50,000 into the building to make it stable and secure and, as a result, the city removed its emergency order and replaced it with a property standards order,” noted McGee.
“There is not an imminent danger at this point. There is not any case to be made that it is about to collapse.”
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