Kitchener to sell former Legion hall at 48 Ontario Street

The former Royal Canadian Legion at 48 Ontario Street in downtown Kitchener has sat empty since 2001. Now, the city is looking to sell the building to someone who has a plan to revitalize it.

Staff would like to see buyer preserve heritage of building, put it to use quickly

The building at 48 Ontario Street North in Kitchener stands out due to its red brick exterior. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)

For sale: Old Legion hall, bit of a fixer-upper but lots of character and located in desirable downtown Kitchener near LRT.

The city is selling the former Royal Canadian Legion at 48 Ontario Street, which has been empty since 2001. Half of the money from the sale of the building will go towards funding the city's new creative hub at 44 Gaukel Street.

But there's a catch if you want to buy the building – you must have an acceptable plan for it.

"We want to see proposals that preserve the heritage features, will bring new life to the building sooner rather than later and that new life really would be of great benefit to the downtown," said Cory Bluhm, the city's interim executive director of economic development.

"Our objective here is to find the right proponent who's got the right vision that aligns with what the community wants to see happen on this building."
The building's slate staircase is historically significant, but shows signs of wear from many years of use. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)

Buyer must have plan

The sale of the building was approved during the city's budget process.

At Monday night's committee of the whole meeting, councillors will discuss the timeline of the sale and how staff will evaluate the proposals they receive for the building.

Some of the suggested evaluation criteria the proposals must meet include retaining heritage features, such as the building's facade, a plan for when renovations and occupancy would take place and the ability of the purchaser to make good on the promises.

"If all went well and we got a great proposal, hopefully by the end of June we would be in a position to enter into an agreement to sell the building," Bluhm said.


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