St. Charles Hotel delay frustrates Heritage Winnipeg
Owner was ordered in January to install sprinkler system in historic building
Heritage Winnipeg is frustrated with yet another delay in the city's handling of the St. Charles Hotel, a historic but derelict building that has been vacant since 2008.
In January, the city ordered the building's owner, Ken Zaifman, to install a sprinkler system to bring the century-old structure in the Exchange District up to code.
Zaifman was given 60 days to install the sprinkler system, or else the city could take over the building's property title.
He vowed to get his design plans in place for the building, which he wants to transform into a boutique hotel, within the 60-day period.
But Cindy Tugwell of Heritage Winnipeg says the deadline came and went over a month ago, and it may yet another month before anything is done.
The report on the St. Charles Hotel has been delayed until the end of May, said Tugwell, who worries that something may happen to the building in the interim.
"Well, should we have pushed him or should we be softer on these building owners? Should we try and work with them more?" she said.
"I think five years, since 2008, I think the city has been more than fair."
City officials have declared the structure unsafe because there is no proper sprinkler system installed.
In the past, Zaifman said he needed more time to get the design of his hotel just right.
As for the city's order, Zaifman said in January that the building is empty and sprinkler systems like the one the city wants are expensive to install.
Tugwell said Zaifman has had plenty of time to do what needs to be done to the building right now.
"Does he want to redevelop this historic building, or does he not?" she said.
"If he doesn't have any intention, then don't put the sprinkler system in and just sell it."
Tugwell added that there are people who are interested in the building if Zaifman cannot restore it.
Zaifman did not return calls from CBC News seeking comment on the latest delay.