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Report To: City Council From: Wayne Ritchie, City Manager
Meeting Date: July 31, 2017
Subject: Former Jail and Courthouse Property
The City of Owen Sound has owned the former Courthouse and Jail located at 1525 & 1535-3rd Avenue East for a number of years. The City has taken the steps required under City Policy to dispose of the property and it has been listed for sale with the City's real estate agent. Currently the listing has expired.
The structures on the property have not been well maintained and the building systems such as electrical/mechanical/heat do not function. Many of the features of the interior do not meet current building code standards. To bring the building up to a standard that would allow for an adaptive reuse will require vision and a multi-million dollar investment.
The City has accepted two different offers to purchase the property and both proponents endeavored to maintain as many features as they could in their repurposing of the buildings. During the conditional sale period both purchasers found that the structures or site would not fit their needs. It is worth noting that one of these purchaser found another site in the City and the other is still looking at options in Owen Sound.
Interested parties who have toured the property comment that it would require very significant investment to bring it back to an inhabitable condition. None have found a reuse that would validate the required investment.
Trying one last time to sell the property "as is" Council can relist it with our real estate agent. I suggest a six month listing with the City's Real Estate Agent Chestnut Park Real Estate.
As part of preparation for the 2018 Budget staff should obtain estimates to demolish various structures on the site. It is the former Courthouse building that contains most of the heritage features.
These estimates may be of assistance to prospective purchasers, and will aid Council to discuss some alternatives should the properties not sell. With none of the building systems operating the structures will only deteriorate further.
It is everyone's hope that the property sells and the structures can be brought back to use retaining many of the heritage features. Should this not occur in fairness to area residents who have been very patient, we need to look at all options.

source: agenda, Owen Sound City Council, Monday, July 31

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