Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Monday, December 6, 2010
St. Charles Hotel
What a sad saga. Years and years of talk and all of it related to how success can only come from demolition. This is what we have seen from the St. Charles Hotel in the Exchange District.
The owner doesn't want to do anything now until an engineer's report is done. In the meantime, the building is empty. The city has had enough of owners who leave their buildings to deteriorate to the point that demolition is the only answer. As such, they have ordered broken windows replaced or to be boarded up. The owner doesn't want to do either.
I don't think the city is to blame for this boutique hotel idea taking so long to develop. Too many times owners have demolished buildings only to see the empty lot to remain forever. Perhaps the thought was that if the goal was to mimic the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo that it required a parking lot beside the hotel.
Hotel Donaldson in the top right and the parking lot beside it
If the issue is parking, look at what is across the street from the Royal Albert Hotel and the St. Charles Hotel. It is a nine story parkade capable of handling 800 cars. And this isn't the only parking in the area.
Meanwhile, this is behind the St. Charles Hotel.
So is the city really to blame for St. Charles taking so long to develop because they won't allow more buildings to be demolished?