Saskatchewan

P.A. judge orders demolition for 'intolerable' building

A dilapidated and notorious Prince Albert apartment building that's been the subject of seven years of legal wrangling can be demolished, a judge has ruled.

A dilapidated and notorious Prince Albert, Sask., apartment building that's been the subject of seven years of legal wrangling can be demolished, a judge has ruled.

That's the latest — and possibly the last — development in the long-running dispute between the city and the owner of the Minto Apartments at 51 9th St. E.

The city has called the Minto a nuisance building with "intolerable sub-standard living conditions."

Police said the building has for many years been a haven for crime and drug use.

A variety of reports said the brick-and-cinder-block structure needed more fire extinguishers and better smoke detectors. The roof and floors needed repairs, a paint job was needed and there wasn't enough emergency lighting, court was told.

The owner, Larry Markwart, was given time to sell the apartment building while it sat empty for years.

A non-profit organization, Full Gospel Outreach Inc., wanted to buy the space to turn it into a men's residence with 15 suites, but the application was turned down.

The city was not convinced that enough money would go into the building to make it safe.

Markwart had been asking for more time.

However, in a Dec. 6 court decision recently published to a legal database, Justice Allisen Rothery sided with the city and ordered the demolition to go ahead.

"The order to vacate and demolish is immediately enforceable," Rothery said in the decision.