Saskatoon City Council has approved the sale of the former municipal police headquarters building on 4thAve S and now the work will begin for us.
Many features of the police station make it an attractive redevelopment project. The “bones” of the building are sound and therefore envisioning another use is not difficult.
Part of that appeal is a number of useful amenities already built into the site. Existing elevators, parking, and the “Cadillac” mechanical systems are great amenities for the re-purposed use.
There are cost savings available to work with these existing building systems as opposed to constructing new.
The abundance of onsite parking holds the most captivation for anyone who has looked at this property.
With a ratio of three stalls per 1,000 square feet, this development will be able to offer an above average number of stalls to downtown tenants. This is made up of a mix of underground, rooftop and surface stalls between the existing building and adjacent parking lot.
A client asked me recently why so many buildings downtown had little to no parking stalls. Outside of core area land commanding a premium price, the simple answer is the older, heritage buildings were built when cars were not as much a consideration.
Fortunately this property was constructed in the height of Saskatoon’s love affair with vehicles, in 1976. As such there is little to no competition at current for this size of property in the city centre with this valuable amenity.
Lastly what has made the former station a worthwhile asset to this investor was the existing zoning.
This property falls under B6 which accommodates high density, multi-use, commercial buildings. There are very few restrictions as to the type of tenants that could occupy this building.
Often to get the highest and best use out of a property, a developer may have to seek rezoning; not required here.
The total building size is 60,900 square feet with approximately 23,978 square feet on the main and two floors of 18,461 square feet above it.
The main floor could be re-purposed into multiple retail tenants or occupied by an office user. Though the intention of the current buyer is to utilize the remainder of building for office space there would be potential to turn upper floors into residential as well.
The functionality of having choices makes the building a good investment to a buyer with a vision to see it through the required changes.
It will be thrilling to watch the process of transformation of this building. Having been inside the property for viewings I can attest to the feat the new developer has on his hands.
With vision and hard work, this building will transition into its next new economic life which should span for many years to come.