The City of Winnipeg is moving to take over the St. Charles Hotel in the Exchange District.

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The St. Charles Hotel is shown in better days in this postcard. (University of Alberta archives)

But if no suitable offering for the 100-year-old building can be found within 90 days, the building must be demolished. That's according to the fine print in a document going before the downtown development committee on Monday.

Coun. Jenny Gerbasi was celebrating the city's effort to take back the building, assuming it would be saved.

"Well, the first part of it we all agreed with. Demolishing it was not something that was discussed, and that's just coming out of left field as far as I'm concerned," she said.

"I have a lot of questions about that which I will have at the committee." 

After years of giving the owner of the historic hotel chances to redevelop it, the city has had enough.

At Monday's meeting, the committee will vote to take over the building, at the corner of Albert Street and Notre Dame Avenue, which has been empty since 2008.

The city has been demanding owner Ken Zaifman comply with the vacant building bylaw by installing a sprinkler system to bring the structure up to code.

In the past, Zaifman has said it would be a waste of money to put in the system while he was still working on his development plan.

He has long said he wants to turn the four-storey building into a boutique hotel, but it remains vacant to this day.


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