Khyber sale moving forward

Council fast-tracks plans to turn Barrington Street property into arts hub.

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If not forever, then certainly for a little while longer.
  • If not forever, then certainly for a little while longer.

The 1588 Barrington Street Building Preservation Society is one step closer to taking over the former Khyber building after council’s vote to move the sale along at this Tuesday’s council meeting.

While the original motion on the table asked for more information from the non-profit group before deciding on the sale, deputy mayor Mason instead asked council to defeat the motion in favour of a faster alternative.

“When I look at what the staff is asking, they’re asking an organization to confirm fundraising, to get strong confirmation of federal funding and to have leases on a building they won’t own and I just don’t think that’s going to happen,” Mason said.

Council passed an alternative motion asking staff to write another report detailing the cost and terms of selling the Barrington Street property to the 1588 Society as an arts centre. When that report is complete, council will move ahead with a vote on the sale.

The final cost to the municipality is still unknown, but staff at the meeting noted the bill would be made up of the waived $1.5 million market value of the building, closing costs, appraisal costs and some additional grants.

According to Mason and other councillors, despite some road bumps over the past four years, the sale of the Khyber is a long time coming.

“We do sorely need a place where we can hang our hats, where our community can hang our hats, and I think this is the perfect building to do it,” said councillor Richard Zurawski. “Its time has come and we need to move ahead.”

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