These stories from late June add a bit more information to what was previously posted. CBE building purchased by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation. http://www.bcimc.com/
CBE news release:
Calgary Board of Education sells former education centre
CALGARY—The Calgary Board of Education has sold the former education centre for $36.5 million. Read more:
http://www.cbe.ab.ca/Media/news/2011-20 ... 625-01.asp
Herald news story:
Public school board sells former headquarters for $36.5M
Richard Cuthbertson, Calgary Herald; With Files From Jason Markusoff, Calgary Herald
Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012
The Calgary Board of Education has sold its former downtown headquarters for $36.5 million, money that will pay off debt from renovating two other buildings but won't help with the pricey rent at its new home.
The site at 515 Macleod Trail, which sold late last week, is one of the few large chunks left in downtown for redevelopment.
It comes with some nifty incentives, including city permission to build more underground parking than is typically allowed.
Last year, school board officials moved out of the concrete, Brutaliststyle headquarters and into new digs at the Education Centre, in the Beltline. The old building and property had been on the market for 18 months and sold for $7 million more than the assessed value.
School board facilities superintendent Frank Coppinger said he is pleased with the sale price, and suspects the site will eventually be redeveloped into a highrise.
"The timing was right. The commercial real estate market had improved in the last two or three years, and so we were lucky to take advantage of that," he said.
The site was bought by BCIMC, a $91-billion investment management corporation out of B.C.
BCIMC spokeswoman GwenAnn Chittenden said the company purchased the property for the long term, but it's too early to say what kind of redevelopment there might be.
The site will likely be turned into a mix of residential and commercial, with the possibility of a hotel, according to the broker that worked to secure the deal between the school board and BCIMC.
"You can't buy another full city block, certainly in downtown Calgary, given the amount of activity that's occurring in the area," said Garry Beres, a senior vice-president with CBRE.
Much of the school board's central administration is now housed in a new building, at 8th Street and 12 Avenue S.W.
The lease and operating costs for the Education Centre tower tallies $285 million over the next 20 years, a price that's been criticized as too costly.
The top two of those floors are vacant, and the CBE has not yet been able to sublease them.
"We're open to negotiation" on the rent the CBE wants to charge, Coppinger said.
The proceeds from the sale of the old headquarters won't dent what's being paid for the new tower.
But it will pay off the $20-million debt the board owes for the modernization of the former Dr. Carl Safran School, which houses trustee offices and some CBE staff, and Connaught School down the street.
The total cost for the renovations to the sandstone buildings was $49 million, partly paid for using board reserve funds.
What's left of the Macleod Trail proceeds will be poured into the facility reserves. Trustees will likely decide in the fall what to do with those funds.
The Macleod Trail site includes the park at the western edge of the property. A city bylaw prevents the space from being redeveloped and the Family of Man statue set, originally part of Britain's pavilion at Expo 67, will remain.
The protection of the park and statues was secured by the city in 2010. In return, the city will allow 100 per cent of needed parking to be built at the Macleod Trail site, double what is normally permitted.
The CBE has sought relocation of the statues to its present home. The city has so far refused, however Mayor Naheed Nenshi suggested Monday there could be room for that to change.
The mayor said this is a major site in the downtown and there will be a "big discussion about what can go there."
"It is worth noting that that particular site is one of the few remaining sites in downtown where you could build a very, very tall building without worrying about shadowing on the pathway or on the river," he said.
© Calgary Herald 2012