Downtown Fort William Core Revitalization Starts with Building Demolition


inntownerTHUNDER BAY – As part of the City’s strategic plan to invest in the revitalization and development of the downtown, City Council has authorized the acquisition of several properties in the South Core.

In addition to the anticipated construction of the Consolidated Courthouse and the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) buildings, the acquisition of these properties will contribute to parking, and could, in the future, be used for redevelopment purposes, advancing the City’s objectives to improve the vitality of the downtown.

The City has recently acquired:
the former West Hotel located, 128 Simpson St, and the adjacent
ANAF Hall, 126 Simpson St.

Council has also authorized the acquisition of:
400 Donald St East,
411 Donald St East,
the former Inntowner building and property, 239 and 301 Brodie St South.

The former Inntowner is the only building that had occupants at the time the acquisition process began.  At the request of the City, the TBDSSAB worked with occupants to identify other housing options.  Demolition of the buildings is expected to be complete by mid-December.

The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board has awarded the tender for the construction of their new building to be located at the corners of Arthur, May and Brodie Streets in Thunder Bay.

The low bid tender was submitted by Finn Way General Contractor Inc. (Finn Way) for a total of $11,618,669 including value added taxes. The TBDSSA Board accepted the tender at their September 23 Board Meeting. It was one of three qualified tenders.

“We are very happy that the contract price is within our budget”, stated Chair Angus. “The contractor will be mobilizing his work shortly and construction should be commencing in October of 2010. It is anticipated that the building will be completed in December of 2011”.

Angus stated, “We have taken the opportunity to create a functional building, which is energy efficient, accessible and modern. The 54,000 sq. ft. facility will house all services under the DSSAB’s responsibility (Ontario Works; Child Care; Social Housing). Services will be improved to the citizens of our community through a one-stop shop approach. This building will also contribute to the revitalization of the south core.”

Angus also added that the annual operating and debt costs for the new building are very similar to the costs currently incurred to accommodate TBDSSAB in the Whalen Building, Victoriaville, and the Royal Edward Arms. “Not only will we have all of our services under one roof, we are doing it at no additional cost to the property taxpayers from the District” concluded Angus.

Public meetings will be held shortly to allow the public an opportunity to view the building design.

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