HomeEx-medical facility set to face demolition

Ex-medical facility set to face demolition

Oct 27 2001

The axe will fall on the Dr. Eric Found Centre. The Guardian has learned that on Friday the province handed Tim Banks and his APM Group the deed for the Charlottetown building and hours later the city delivered its demolition permit. That mean that work will begin to take down the former sanatorium to make way for the 19 homes that will be known as the Brighton Commons.

Tim Banks said his staff started work on the site immediatley after they received the necessary paperwork Friday. He said that by Monday demolition work will be well under way. "We are the title hold of the property now," Banks confirmed Friday. "We will be proceeding immediately with the plans that we had set out." Ron Martin, a Charlottetown developer who had hoped to save the centre and renovate it into seniors housing, said he was disappointed to hear the demolition would be going ahead.

Martin went to court to try to stop Banks. He filed an application with the Supreme Court of P.E.I. asking it to overturn city council's Sep. 10 decision to rezone the centre's McGill Avenue property from institutional to single-family zoning. While waiting for a decision on his challenge, Martin wanted a court order to prevent the APM Group from demolishing the building, but he failed to get that court order.

Martin said if there was anything else he could do, he would. But he said if the building is demolished, it's too late no matter what the court decides. "I can certainly tell you that I'm disappointed," Martin said, after being informed about the deed and demolition permit being issued. "I'm only one block away from it and I can see what's happening up there. I'm very, very disappointed. The neighbourhood does not want the R1 (zoning). They want to see the seniors' complex but it's politics at this point -- that's where it's at." Martin contended three city decision-makers, including Coun. Kathleen Casey, Coun. Bruce Garrity and City Hall staffer Donna Waddell were all in conflicts of interests because of their ties to a law firm that represented the APM Group.

With the paperwork now in order, Banks and his company will focus first on removing the asbestos-laden floors, plaster and piping. That will be carried out under controlled conditions under the watchful eye of provincial environment officials.

They will also remove the 5,000 gallon petroleum tank which continues to sit, nearly full, under the building. The environmental clean up will take three to four weeks, demolition will take another three weeks, and four to six homes will be under construction in the spring and ready for occupancy in the fall.

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