“The idea is not to give away important heritage. We would cry if one day someone bought it and destroyed it. We don’t want that,” emphasizes Mario De Tele, general manager of IDE.
IDE has a project in partnership with the indigenous community to acquire the building. “In Canada, like the rest of America, we are indebted to Indigenous communities. What we were looking to do was create a support center with the aim of developing entrepreneurship among Indigenous communities. It is a project that is particularly close to my heart,” Mr. De Tilly explains.
IDE’s real estate strategy is in particular to revalue abandoned or underutilized buildings. He does not want to compete with the private sector. So, if a company wanted to buy the Canada Post building, they would pass on the IDE. “But if the private sector does not act, we will act,” Mr. De Tilly asserts.
If the federal government was the owner, the authorization for the sale would have been outsourced to real estate agency Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), whose nearest office is in Montreal. Communications are difficult, according to Mr. De Tilly. He remains hopeful that the matter will be resolved by the end of the year.
The Post Office is undoubtedly one of the most famous buildings in Trois-Rivières. The 42,000-square-foot building is valued at $3.1 million by the city of Trois-Rivières. according to Quebec cultural heritage guideIt was built in 1917. The post office opened its doors in 1918. Canada Post continues to operate a post office and mailbox service there.
Its heritage value lies in its Beaux Arts architecture and historic location, which has been a focal point of the city from its beginnings and even before that when it was a well-known indigenous place.
Postal employees moved to a building on Avenue Saint-Laurent, in Pas-du-Cap, in September 2021. Postal operations and about 150 employees were relocated “in order to better meet our operational needs and standards.” Canada Post explained, in 2021.
Opposite the post office there is another heritage building that is also an IDE landmark: Amo building. The economic arm of the city never hid the fact that he wanted to become its owner. As part of the Innovation District, IDE aspires for this building to become the headquarters for decarbonizing the economy throughout Quebec. “It’s a big project,” says Mr. De Tilly.
This file should be completed more quickly than a post office file. It’s a matter of “a few weeks”. “We are in the final stage of discussions with the current owner. We are in negotiations with them because we had to check some elements, including possible contamination,” explains Mr. De Tilly.
Since it is an old building, the presence of asbestos, lead paint and the oil heating system were checked.
The owner is an investment fund. Built in 1929, the ten-storey building also has heritage value due to its architecture and location. Inspired by the Chicago School architectural movement, it is the first skyscraper in Trois-Rivières. Its value is $574,000.
If the city of Trois-Rivières announces its intention to dispose of some of its buildings, this does not change the real estate strategy of IDE which, as Mr. de Tilly points out, is “completely independent of the city.”
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