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The Kramer buildings general discussion incl. The Janion | Morley Soda Water Factory


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#1 gumgum

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:12 AM

Not sure where this Soda Water Factory building is, but I sure know which building is the Janion (Store St @ Pandora).

I 've been told in the past that she was holding on to the Janion purely in the interest its preservation. She was waiting for a buyer that would ensure the structure would be preserved.

And now I read this article.
Clara Beatrice Kramer, I declare war. :mad:

City bids to stop demolition of two historic buildings


Carolyn Heiman, Times Colonist

Published: Friday, March 14, 2008
The City of Victoria is trying to block the demolition of two historic downtown buildings -- the Janion Building and the Morley's Soda Water Factory.
Last night council unanimously put the two derelict buildings under temporary protection for 60 days using a section of the Local Government Act aimed at saving important heritage buildings.
The action was taken after the city received a demolition permit application for the buildings on March 6. The report does not name who applied for the permit or their plans for the lands.
"These two buildings are of vital importance to the integrity of Victoria's Old Town and are of strong heritage significance," wrote Steve Barber, the city's senior heritage planner, of the two buildings. Both are owned by Oak Bay resident Clara Beatrice Kramer.
Over recent years the deteriorating condition of the unoccupied properties, along with their prominence in the downtown core, has prompted city council to examine ways to get the owner to either sell the properties or renovate them.
In 1980 the city placed the properties on a heritage registry, signaling the interest in keeping them preserved. In 2007 the city called for the inspection of the properties to determine if they were being properly maintained after it was learned that a heavy snowfall had caved in the roof of the Morley's Soda Factory building. Staff were finally able to inspect the properties this week, after the demolition permit application was filed.
The Morley's Soda Water Factory building was constructed in 1884. The three-storey Janion Building was built in 1892.
Barber said if an owner ignores a protection order they are liable for a fine of up to $50,000 or jail sentence of up to two years. The penalty if a building is owned by a corporation is up to $1 million.
Coun. Charlayne Thornton Joe said she was sad to see the staff report but agreed the council had to act.
cheiman@tc.canwest.com


© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008



#2 Caramia

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:32 AM

Honestly two years in jail seems fair for what this woman has done to our downtown. It isn't like she hasn't had many opportunities to sell! If there isn't a law that forbids leaving beautiful heritage buildings to rot, there needs to be. I understand that sometimes landlords can't find a buyer, or circumstances provide no out. But there is no excuse in this situation.

I feel all outraged and stuff.
:(

#3 Rob Randall

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:34 AM

This is an outrage!

Here is the Soda Factory building; it's the beautiful two storey brick building:


[source]

More on Waddington Alley.

This simply cannot be allowed. This is a crime against the City.



#4 G-Man

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:34 AM

The Soda building is half way down Waddington alley just past the entrance to Il Terrazo.

#5 gumgum

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:46 AM

What reason does she have for doing this???
Once the 60 days are up, can she really demolish these buildings?

#6 amor de cosmos

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:56 AM

I'm a little surprised that there isn't already a thread with Kramer's buildings in it. What other ones are there? The Janion Building & Soda Water Factory are already mentioned, I think the ones across the lawn from the whale wall are also owned by her. What other buildings does she own?

Clara Beatrice Kramer, I declare war. :mad:

me too!!!! :mad:

Not sure where this Soda Water Factory building is

in Waddington Alley (not trounce alley) which goes between Johnson & Yates, sort of across from Lucky Bar.

#7 Rob Randall

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:29 AM

She also owns the Northern Junk building and its neighbour. The GVHA would like to acquire these and turn them into something cool like a cafe/kayak rental concept or something similar.




[photos by lightgazer]

These two are some of the oldest buildings in Downtown. I believe the foundations are built with stone brought over as ballast in the holds of sailing ships.

#8 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:30 AM

^ Interesting (in a bad way, as in "May you live in interesting times" interesting)... Put your thinking caps on: what's behind this, who has bought or owns property next door to either site? The Janion Building has buildable land on either side, with the surface parking lot on the right (looking west) and a narrow strip of land to the left. The only reason for demolishing the Janion would be to consolidate that small strip with the Janion site to build a larger structure.

Can't think what's next to the Soda bldg, or how it could be consolidated into a larger building lot, though. But I'm betting that lot consolidation is behind it.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#9 Rob Randall

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:39 AM

This is from a 2001 feature on Downtown properties by the Times-Colonist's Jody Paterson:

The boarded-up building doesn't look like much. In fact, I missed it the first time I cruised through Waddington Alley looking for it, wrongly assuming that it was a continuation of the Capital Regional District office on Yates Street.

But the old Morley Soda Water factory is local building owner C.B. Kramer's favourite one, the one she's most likely to still look at from time to time through the window of the CRD's second-floor coffee room.

Adjacent to Il Terrazzo restaurant, the building was constructed in 1884. There's a passageway through it big enough for horse-drawn carriages, which used to pull up inside to await their load of soda. But that was a long time ago; the building has been empty for decades.

Kramer's father-in-law bought the Morley building and two other downtown properties 51 years ago for storage space. She inherited them, and is now planning to lease them out after years of letting them sit.

She still has no interest in selling the buildings. "It's not a sentimental thing, but they'll remain in the family," says Kramer.

That could make it tougher to find tenants. Nobody is eager to put money into a project that they have no equity in. And all three of Kramer's buildings will need substantial investment before they're habitable.

Kramer isn't worried. "I've had plans for them once or twice since I became the lucky owner of them, and I think they'll be fine," she says. "One of these days, they'll be looking very nice. I'm sure of that."

Another C.B. Kramer holding, owned by her and her two daughters under the company name Sky Blue Properties Ltd. The two Northern Junk buildings are the mauve structures just down the way from the Provincial Capital Commission-owned Reeson Park. They've gone unused since 1978.

71. The Janion Building. C.B. Kramer owns this one too. The building was constructed as the luxurious Janion Hotel in 1891 and touted as one of the first in the city to have electricity. But its life as a hotel ended just four years later, and it went through various incarnations before being boarded up in 1948. Kramer's father bought the old hotel 51 years ago for storage space.



#10 Mike K.

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:56 AM

Given Kramer's age I doubt she's calling the shots.

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#11 aastra

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:02 AM

If only the Kramer family would check out our historical pictures thread, they'd surely realize that Victoria just can't afford to lose any more historic buildings. This city has done such a lousy job at urban preservation, all things considered (even though we like to think we've done a great job). The inventory was once huge. Today, it's merely respectable. How many more body blows can it withstand?

A restored Janion (even if it's just the facade) could be -- and should be -- one of the defining elements of whatever new development happens down there.

#12 Holden West

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:13 AM

Damn you, Kramer.


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#13 spanky123

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 12:26 PM

Sorry to say it but I see the buildings being demo'd and the $50K fine being paid. Nobody is being sent to jail for this.

#14 gumgum

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 01:25 PM

Given Kramer's age I doubt she's calling the shots.

I believe she's got money in Bear Mountain as well. Someone who's investing her money in new developments is bound to be calling the shots for this too. Regardless. Before this latest development I just thought the Kramers had their heads in their asses; now I see they've got their middle fingers erected proudly toward the rest of the community.

I really think spanky's right too. 50 G's is chicken feed in the grand scheme of this matter. I'm thinking it's very likely we'll see these buildings as piles of rubble in a couple of months. :mad:

#15 amor de cosmos

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 01:31 PM

what a silly old bat. why should she be able to do that to our town :(:mad::(:mad:

#16 spanky123

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 01:57 PM

what a silly old bat. why should she be able to do that to our town :(:mad::(:mad:


Because she has money and our "community leaders" would rather spend their time kissing her butt then they would holding her to account for her actions.

There is more than enough ammo in the City rule book to take aim at Kramer and bring her into line if there was a desire to do it.

#17 gumgum

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 02:01 PM

Kramer is an investor in Bear Mountain.
From a TC article on Jan 22nd:

...
By creating the local service area - the interchange itself - the municipality bypasses any referendum or counter-petition process that would normally accompany such borrowing because the money is being paid back by the developers in the service area. Those developers are LGB9 (Bear Mountain), Totangi Forestry, Goldstream Heights, Clara Kramer and Bear Mountain Parkway Estates.
...



#18 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 02:11 PM

Hmm, I'm gonna be in the very small minority here. I think she should be allowed to destroy her own property if she wants to.

There should ba a rule that says buildings should not sit derelect or at least derelect looking for over a certain time period, but there isn't one.

And there should be a rule as to how the site can be left after demolition so it doesn't look like the Mozart pit, but I guess there isn't a rule on that either.

#19 amor de cosmos

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 02:45 PM

Hmm, I'm gonna be in the very small minority here. I think she should be allowed to destroy her own property if she wants to.


If she owns old heritage buildings she has a responsibility to maintain &/or restore them. The city let her get away with letting them disintegrate for way too long imho.

#20 aastra

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 02:49 PM

I actually think she should be allowed to do it, too. I just don't understand why she would want to do it.

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