Tbnewswatch Local News
Saturday July 4 2015
6:05 AM EDT
2014-03-19 at 15:40

For sale

Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

Unable to convince a buyer to take on back taxes owed, the City of Thunder Bay has decided to write off $114,974 and put the abandoned Lyceum Theatre up for sale.

Coun. Larry Hebert, a member of the heritage advisory committee, on Wednesday said the city received no bids in a Feb. 19 tax sale to divest the property.

In a closed session of council Monday the city approved a resolution declaring the property surplus, decided to conduct no further repairs on the 105-year-old building and put it on the market.

“We’ll see what what’s going to happen now,” Hebert said. “There are still people contacting us. There are two real estate people with people interested ... We’ve had one other group approach us, a community group looking to maybe turn it back into a theatre, a performance arts place for young people who are aspiring to perform dance or song or acting.”

The latter group, who Hebert did not name, does not have a lot of money, he added.

“But they are interested in using the building.”

Built in 1909, the Lyceum Theatre was used to provide space for travelling shows.

According to the city’s heritage registry, the building features plenty of architectural focal points, including “keystones with bearded faces, segmented semi-circular windows and a large stone panel in the centre of the facade with the name Lyceum incised in large letters.”

The steel-framed, brick-faced structure is also located across the street from the city’s proposed $106.1-million event centre preferred site, the Water Street bus terminal.

Hebert said whoever buys it is faced with some substantial repairs.

“It’s got some damage to it, of course, mould from water because there is a leak in the roof,” Hebert said. “It’s a major leak. But most of the roof is in great shape. The building itself is a solid foundation with some steel and very good concrete in there. So it has some potential.”

The city’s other option, if no one puts an offer in with its realty corporation, is to tear the building down to make way for new development.

Hebert said he hopes if that’s the case that the heritage committee recommends the demolition crew salvages the facade for its heritage properties to maintain the downtown north core’s connection to its past.

Because the building is on the heritage registry demolition would have to be approved.
Hebert said he thinks the city wants to get the building back in the hands of the private sector as soon as possible.

What he doesn’t want is a vacant lot.

“I’ve heard comments from the general public saying it would make a great area for a restaurant. I wouldn’t want to see it turned into a parking lot.”

Opposition groups fighting the event centre’s downtown location have repeatedly cited a lack of parking as one of the main issues with the site.

The city has not been able to contact the building’s California-based owner in about three years.



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Eastender says:
This is how it works. A guy works at the mill, can car, teacher, what have you. Middle class type. Gets a small inheritance, buys s nice upper middle class house. Retires and by the time he is in his late to early seventies, his buying power has been erroded by inflation. That comfortable pension, now is not enough to keep up with his expenses. Taxes in 15 years have gone from 1600 to 4200. Water bills up, hydro up, grocerys,up. He can now choose to live in his home and eat tube steak, or sell his home for 400,000, which will more than cover his rent for a long long time, after which he can go on welfare and become a burden to society. And the idiots at city hall want the taxes to increase even further.
3/20/2014 4:56:51 PM
musicferret says:
Tbnewswatch should do a story on the people losing their homes to the taxman, or selling and renting because they can't afford the taxes on the same place they've lived in for 30 years.

Its sad, but its not reported on like all the commercial building tax seizures even though it is a big story happening right now to many in this city.
3/20/2014 11:17:16 AM
hadenough says:
That's got to one of the best misdirected comments I've seen on here on a long time.
Selling and renting because of taxes? I had no idea that rental properties were not taxed the same as private homes!! I always thought that property taxes would be included in the rent.

I think if you've lost your home because you couldn't pay the taxes, you've got bigger problems and are just trying to blame everyone else instead of the guy in the mirror.
3/20/2014 12:48:35 PM
bttnk says:
I actually walked through this building with a realtor recently as it would make a great investment property, particularly since it is right across the street from the event centre location.

While the building does have some great character, it would require a significant investment to get the building into a condition suitable for commercial tenancy. I'll be interested to see what the City lists the property for.
3/20/2014 9:14:30 AM
fastball says:
It's the oldest rule in real estate - better to buy the cheapest house in a great neighbourhood than the other way 'round.
If some smart cookie with some money to invest wants to take a flyer on what might be a burgeoning area - this might not be a bad investment.
Chances are they'll get the place for a pittance - and with a bit of cash, some sweat equity and a revitalizing area....this could be a good deal after resale.

3/20/2014 10:11:59 AM
Sprague Street Superman says:
If its such a great deal, why don't you buy it?

Where is True North's money? Surely they will front you the cash since they want to invest so much into Thunder Bay.

or is that not really the case?
3/20/2014 10:43:53 AM
fastball says:
I'm no smart cookie with money looking to invest in speculative real estate. I was speaking hypothetically - as, last time I checked, people were allowed to do here.
Just an observation here - maybe you should try decaf...'cuz you sound a little hyper, dude.
3/20/2014 11:56:44 AM
Sprague Street Superman says:
fastball says:

"I'm no smart cookie"

Don't worry we already knew that. Sayy, if youre not so smart about real estate and speculation of markets, why are you always going on and on about how the event center is such a great thing and how much wealth it will bring to the area?

In case there was any doubt about your ignorance before, you just removed it for us. Thanks for that!
3/20/2014 1:19:25 PM
fastball says:
Nice work there - taking 4 words out of my post and contriving an entire dialogue around them - completely out of context. Did you stop reading after half a sentence? Or just thinking?
I was merely offering a REASONABLE (I think you might be out of your depth here) scenario in which a savvy businessman looking for an investment might capitalize.
Apparently, you've totally ignored the decaf suggestion.
3/20/2014 2:21:15 PM
Sprague Street Superman says:
You readily discounted your comment and knowledge pertaining to real estate and property development regarding speculative practises by openly admitting you were no smart cookie on these matters.

Your words were not taken out of context at all. You just showed us your hand and all youre holding is a deuce/six off suit.

Please refrain from any other comments regarding the proposed event center as its obvious that you're no smart cookie (by your own admission) and you do neither side any good.

You're one of those obviously uninformed people Hobbes was talking about.
3/20/2014 4:16:03 PM
fastball says:
Oh sweet suffering Jesus.
(face palm)
3/20/2014 9:23:00 PM
fastball says:
You (and your buddy below) conveniently left out the "...WITH money, looking to invest" part of the sentence. That's why no one takes you clowns seriously. In your desperate attempts to keep up, you reduce yourself to little games like this. It just makes you look small....and basically, just a bit stupid.
Personally speaking, I'm not looking for places to buy for investment purposes. I've done pretty well with my money - thank you very much - what with my alleged union wages and gold-plated city pension.
3/20/2014 11:20:47 PM
bttnk says:
@fastball - We've long ago established that it is not worth engaging these guys in dialogue. Do yourself a huge favour and disregard their lame attempts at twisting words. They simply aren't worth your time.
3/21/2014 4:08:17 PM
Eastender says:
You hit the nail on the head fastball, when you said your no smart cookie with money. Why should we listen to you when you push so hard for tne event centre, since by you own admission you are not good with money and/or real estate investment, yet you feel that this would be such a good investment for taxpayers. I dont get it?
3/20/2014 4:39:49 PM
Tiredofit says:
Perhaps if taxes were more reasonable in this town, maybe, just maybe, you wouldn't have as many people walk away from their responsibility and pay the taxes due.
But hey, we need to pay for all of these pet projects that certain administration staff have.
3/20/2014 7:42:04 AM
tbaycat says:
Can someone please make sense of this for me? Supposedly the purpose of the event centre being built in the North Core is to help “revitalize” the area. If you go on the “Citizens for a Downtown North Core Multiplex” site you will see Scott Hobbs and Jason Susin talk about tearing down old buildings in the area to build parking lots. My question to them is this. If we tear down all of these old buildings so we can build parking lots for this arena, what will there be left of the North Core to actually “revitalize”?
3/20/2014 4:06:22 AM
Maxumpat says:
Excellent spot for a methadone clinic .
3/20/2014 12:36:09 AM
thunderbaycouncel says:
where is the listing for the sale?
3/19/2014 10:29:46 PM
razor_burn says:
I bid $20.
3/19/2014 8:54:52 PM
jimmyboy says:
gotta love it..."they have been unable to contact" the buildings owner who's sunning himself in California...just add this and the Prosvita building to the ever growing list of buildings people have walked away from in Thunder Bay...
3/19/2014 6:56:02 PM
sky high says:
And since you constantly whine about our wonderful city, might we surmise that old jimmyboy is going to do likewise...leave Thunder Bay I mean? But alas, the old 10 speed has a flat and your tent isn't insulated...so no, we're stuck taking care of you here
3/20/2014 3:11:06 AM
Eastender says:
The rabid dog is doing a lot of barking today. Somebody must have fed him.
3/20/2014 9:15:44 AM
TBDR says:
oh man, i'd pay money for that
3/20/2014 1:42:53 PM
Sprague Street Superman says:
do you have some weird fixation on this guy? every post you make here is going after jimmyboy or defending hobbes.

do you have anything to offer the readers here or just scratching some weird itch you seem to have?
3/20/2014 1:52:30 PM
jimmyboy says:
You hit the nail on the head....TBDR never comments on the actual story...as well have a difficult time with the truth...as does poster sky high...drive around and see all of the empty commercial real estate there actually is in the city.
3/20/2014 2:34:13 PM
NowayJose says:
I have a great idea! Let’s gather all monies from those who do not approve of the events centre (such as myself), buy it and sit on it (while paying the taxes). When the event centre fails to be built, all investor’s take it as a capital gains loss. If the event centre was built (tsk tsk), then we have the building demolished and charge everyone a flat rate of $20/hour/per space to park!
3/19/2014 6:46:42 PM
sky high says:
A couple of problems with your solution there Norway Jose....first of all, you and your gang of 100 from the library aren't going to be able to buy a broom to swish away a cobweb with that collection you took up at Ray's meeting a couple of weeks ago....and we're in phase 3 now as far as the events centre goes. True North is on board, as well as the provincial and federal governments; and other high profile partners are chomping at the bit to get in on this once in a lifetime opportunity. So you go ahead and sit on all those monies you're going to gather..but something tells me a few nickels aren't going to support your backsides very well
3/20/2014 3:20:10 AM
ring of fire dude says:
Since the City is awash in taxpayer's money , why not convert it into a new Indian Friendship Center .
3/19/2014 6:29:52 PM
Arch Stanton says:
There's a reason NOBODY wants it...

So TEAR IT DOWN and sell the vacant site for redevelopment.

Even a parking lot is better than this!!!
3/19/2014 5:56:37 PM
SomeGuy says:
I seems you are unaware how the heritage register works.
3/20/2014 8:19:57 AM
Today1 says:
I'm shocked that there hasn't been a bidding war? Prime and scarce real estate in the "waterfront district". I hope that we don't have to to develop it first and then pay someone to build on it!
3/19/2014 4:22:25 PM
tiredofit says:
Walk by and take a peek in the windows and you'll see why it hasn't sold, it's going to take $100's of thousands to fix it up. Who ever buys it, better have deep pockets.

Maybe the city can sink $600 thousand into it and sell it for $60k,kind of like they did with the waterfront property.
3/19/2014 5:24:05 PM
chezhank says:
How abouts we puts the building on the Renew Thunder Bay list,tell the people we cannot leverage any funding and actually Renew Thunder Bay.

henry wojak
mayor in waiting

I like old buildings.
3/19/2014 3:51:59 PM
sky high says:
We'll be renewed as soon as the Events Centre is completed....incumbent clown
3/19/2014 5:49:14 PM
tbaycat says:
noun \in-'k?m-b?nt\
: a person who holds a particular office or position

Me thinks that "sky high" is so frothing at the mouth that he forgot what "incumbent" meant. Unless of course I missed "chezhank" already winning the mayors race? LOL!!!!
3/20/2014 1:48:31 AM
sky high says:
Oh what joy when you're about to prove to someone how silly they just sounded :)! Yes, you were able to repeat the definition of incumbent, well done! However, I did not follow this important word with the word MAYOR. You see, I followed it with clown, so the top of the class among us will understand that he will once again win the position of CLOWN, which he holds at the present time! If I'd meant incumbent MAYOR, I'd have said incumbent MAYOR. But I said CLOWN. LOL, would you like me to repeat all that, and for your benefit slower? Articulation has never been your strong point, has it tbaycat. This is NOT a question.
3/20/2014 3:04:25 AM
jimmyboy says:
Why not have yourself and some of your friends and family anti up your cash and purchase this GEM of a building or one of the many out there on Simpson Street as a prime example of buildings that have to be bulldozed...admitting to the fact that we have an over abundance of them is your first step into what many see or refer to as the real world aspect of Thunder Bay...!!!
3/20/2014 4:43:02 PM
mystified says:
Get over yourself. You make some of the stupidest comments then come back with an essay to justify your mistake.
You are in the same boat as your buddy S. Duncan, Wayne, Delbert Grady, Pie Island and now Toot Sweet. A troll.
3/21/2014 8:56:37 AM
jaxoon says:
The position that sky high is referring to is that of clown not mayor.
3/20/2014 7:58:08 AM
conker2012 says:
a comic performer, as in a circus, theatrical production, or the like, who wears an outlandish costume and makeup and entertains by pantomiming common situations or actions in exaggerated or ridiculous fashion, by juggling or tumbling, etc.
a person who acts like a clown; comedian; joker; buffoon; jester.
a prankster; a practical joker.
Slang. a coarse, ill-bred person; a boor.

He is the repeat winner of the race for city clown, though not running un-opposed he and Andy Wolfe have been in a tight battle for the largest clowns in the city. It is also looking like they may have a few new contenders this upcoming election.
3/20/2014 8:41:09 AM
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