Royal Vic in demand as movie set as MUHC awaits sale of 19th-century hospital
MUHC on hook for $7.5M annual cost of heating, maintaining vacant buildings
The three hospitals that merged into the McGill University Health Centre's Glen site are sitting vacant, and the MUHC must pay for their upkeep while it tries to sell them.
Here's an update on where each deal stands:
Royal Victoria hospital: Sideline in film
It's expected to take a while before the sale of the old Royal Victoria Hospital goes through.
In the meantime, the MUHC is on the hook for all heating, lighting and security costs at the old Royal Vic, which adds up to nearly $500,000 a month.
To offset some of those costs, the health centre opens up parts of the hospital, including a heritage operating theatre, to film production companies.
The MUHC has accommodated the filmmakers by keeping a handful of rooms as they were when the hospital was operating, full of equipment. The rest of the equipment is in the process of being donated to hospitals across Quebec.
As for the future of the Royal Vic: McGill University is the only one in the running to buy it, and the school is currently working on a feasibility study on what needs to be done to fix the site, which includes certain heritage buildings.
The university's aim is to use the site for research labs and offices, with a third of area reserved for rental to businesses.
McGill's ambitious plan includes:
- turning parking lots into green space
- adding pathways to Mount Royal
- building a 2,000 seat convocation hall.
"It's an enlargement of the downtown campus of McGill," said Olivier Marcil, the university's vice-principal of external relations. "It's next door."
Montreal Children's Hospital: Snazzy options
After what was rumoured to be a competitive bidding process, Luc Poirier was confirmed as the buyer of the old Children's site in Nov. 2015.
The high-profile developer has big plans for the area.
He's even floating the idea of building a major league baseball stadium in the space, although experts say it would be a tight squeeze, and Poirier told CBC the mayor isn't favourable to the idea.
"Denis Coderre doesn't want any place except the Bassin Peel," Poirier said. "I don't know why. Most American [investors] prefer the Children's or another downtown site."
The developer said his plan is still very preliminary, but it will include a mix of condos, offices and seniors' residences. Poirier is even in discussions with two hotel chains keen to be part of the project.
The deal is currently in the final due-diligence phase, and the old hospital should officially change hands sometime this year.
Only one section of the old hospital, the Gilman Pavilion on Atwater Avenue, is excluded from the sale. It still houses the hospital's dentistry and adolescent medicine departments.
Chest Institute: Deal nearly done
The sale of the former site of the Montreal Chest Institute, on 3666 Saint-Urbain Street, is also close to final approval.
"We're fairly advanced in the process," said Richard Fahey, the MUHC's director of public affairs, adding that the deal should be closed sometime in 2016.
The buyer has not been made public, nor has the selling price for the Chest Institute.
When the MUHC submitted the plan for the Glen site, it had listed the financial target for all three legacy sites – the Montreal Children's Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute and the Royal Victoria Hospital – as $177 million.
Montreal Shriners Hospital: On the market
The Montreal Shriners Hospital also moved to the Glen site last year, and its old location on Cedar Avenue is on the market.
Several offers were made and one was studied seriously, but it didn't pan out. The Shriners organization is now once again asking for bids.