Tearing down old military properties to pave way for redevelopment
With the new home for Canadian Forces Station St. John’s now open, more than a dozen vacant buildings in the Pleasantville area are waiting to be demolished
The former Canadian Forces Station Building in Pleasantville is scheduled to be demolished. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
According to the Crown agency responsible for those properties, that job will start before the end of this year, paving the way for more development in the area.
“We’re taking steps to implement some demolition,” said Roger Martin, the acting general manager for real estate in Ontario and the Atlantic region for Canada Lands Company (CLC).
The 35,000-square-metre Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander W. Anthony Paddon Building cost $156 million to build and design. Personnel that previously occupied 18 buildings in Pleasantville sharing space in the new building. According to Martin, the last few people moved into the building at the end of July.
Before demolition takes places, CLC needs to scan the properties for potential environmental hazards to ensure that information is included when the work goes to tender.
“We have preparation work to do, as all demolition has to have the substances (inside) to the buildings evaluated so that they can be property removed and disposed of during demolition,” said Martin.
CLC expects demolition work will go to tender in the fall.
“We’re proposing to have demolition commencing before the end of the year, and as all construction work is, it’s somewhat weather dependent, so we’ll have to see how far along we get.”
Once the buildings are torn down, land will be made available to developers as part of the ongoing redevelopment plan for Pleasantville.
“We will continue that work, and as development blocks become available, we will market them and sell them to builders,” said Martin.
The vacant buildings in Pleasantville were mentioned at Monday’s City of St. John’s council meeting. Coun. Art Puddister directed city staff to contact CLC for an update.
“A lot of these buildings now have been boarded up and they are a bit of an eyesore, and over time they could become a place where people could break in,” he said.
“The military have basically turned all these buildings over to Canada Lands. They’re in a new facility. They’re up and running. They’ve walked away, so Canada Lands has an obligation to move forward with this.”
— With files from Daniel MacEachern