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Sloane Calls on Province to Demolish Former Infirmary Building
(Thursday, March 11, 2004) - Councillor Dawn Sloane said today she hopes the Halifax Regional Municipality's move to demolish the former TexPark parking facility will inspire the Province to do the same to the former Halifax Infirmary building.
HRM announced this morning that it will take immediate steps to demolish the former parking garage in downtown Halifax and issue a tender call next week (March 17th) for the sale of the lands.
Councillor Sloane said both buildings have been the scene of illegal squatting by homeless persons during the past two years and pose a danger not only to those occupying the buildings, but to personnel who may have to enter them in the case of a fire or another emergency.
"The buildings have no power, no water and have deteriorated over time to the point that I fear there could be a serious injury or worse if steps are not taken immediately to demolish these abandoned buildings, " she said. "Moreover, the need to repair the "social safety net," through which many of the homeless have fallen, must be addressed too."
Aside from the dangers the buildings pose, Councillor Sloane also said boarded-up, graffiti-marked structures detract from the street scapes of downtown Halifax and the Spring Garden Road business district.
The Councillor said HRM is bracing to receive thousands of visitors this summer for the Tall Ships event and the Acadian World Congress "and we don't want our downtown to look like a bombed out war scene. HRM is taking responsibility for the TexPark garage and I would expect the Province to do the same for the former Infirmary building."
HRM Real Property and Assessment Management officials say the most probable development for the former TexPark lands, given current market conditions and intelligence, would be for a hotel and/or high density residential-- both with some commercial component. It is not expected that any significant office component will be proposed. The closing date for Tender submissions is April 30, 2004.
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Councillor Dawn Sloane