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


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#21 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:25 PM

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.


When she bought them or inherited them there was no such thing as heritage preservation rules etc. So the city should not be able to throw that tag on them when going in there was no such thing. Now, if someone buys a building now that has similar restrictions on its use etc. then its fair game.

#22 rjag

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:33 PM

I seem to remember there was something from her late husbands Will that forbade the sale of the properties and thats partly the reason why they have sat there and she has rebuffed numerous offers to sell.

#23 amor de cosmos

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 05:30 PM

When she bought them or inherited them there was no such thing as heritage preservation rules etc.


doesn't matter to me & probably doesn't matter to many other people on this forum. the bottom line is whether they get restored or not.

#24 Number Six

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 06:04 PM

When she bought them or inherited them there was no such thing as heritage preservation rules etc. So the city should not be able to throw that tag on them when going in there was no such thing. Now, if someone buys a building now that has similar restrictions on its use etc. then its fair game.

If an individual buys a home and 20 years from now it receives Heritage Designation does that individual have the right to demolish it? I don't know the answer but find it hard to believe that "grandfathering" the designation would permit the building to be demolished. My understanding is that there are benefits (ie. financial consideration, maintenance grants, etc.) provided to owners that compensate them for the restrictions imposed.

I respect individual rights but not at any cost ... especially when this landlord has not lifted a finger to maintain her properties.

#25 gumgum

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 06:37 PM

We're talking about two things here. What her legal obligation was and is, and what she, a property owner and member of the community, should have done.
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If there was a Will from her husband saying that she can't sell, then the only reason she wants to demolish it is so that she doesn't have to worry about liability if someone incurs an injury or something while trespassing on the property. Not to mention the fact that it's a lot easier to take care of an empty lot, than a building that could be on the verge of collapse. But I'm not so sure about this Will rumour.

#26 gumgum

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:11 PM

The Janion:


Which lot number is the Soda building?



#27 G-Man

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:12 PM

The city can not place heritage designation on any building without consent of the owner. they can put things on the heritage registry but all this allows is an owner to apply for designation it in now way protects the building. Neither of these buildings have heritage designation.

#28 G-Man

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:13 PM

1315 is the soda building.

#29 gumgum

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:15 PM

^The one that looks like the roof is going to collapse. I should have guessed.

#30 LJ

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:00 PM

If an individual buys a home and 20 years from now it receives Heritage Designation does that individual have the right to demolish it? I don't know the answer but find it hard to believe that "grandfathering" the designation would permit the building to be demolished. My understanding is that there are benefits (ie. financial consideration, maintenance grants, etc.) provided to owners that compensate them for the restrictions imposed.

I respect individual rights but not at any cost ... especially when this landlord has not lifted a finger to maintain her properties.



If the home receives a "heritage" designation after you have been living there for years you lose all rights to the building. Everything you want to do to it from painting to repairing has to be approved by the heritage committee. You will never get a demolition permit and you may be forced to undertake expensive repairs. You do get a break on your taxes though. In a lot of cases it works out for some elderly people who can avoid being "taxed" out of their home by receiving a heritage designation.

#31 LJ

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:04 PM

The city can not place heritage designation on any building without consent of the owner. they can put things on the heritage registry but all this allows is an owner to apply for designation it in now way protects the building. Neither of these buildings have heritage designation.


If a building is put on the heritage registry it is my understanding that no material changes can be made to the building. In Vancouver at least, homes were given a heritage designation against the homeowners wishes, certainly without their consent.

#32 LJ

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:06 PM

I seem to remember there was something from her late husbands Will that forbade the sale of the properties and thats partly the reason why they have sat there and she has rebuffed numerous offers to sell.


She could get around that by donating them to the City of Victoria.:)

#33 G-Man

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:09 PM

There is a lengthy part of the City of Victoria website about heritage designation. It cannot be done without the owner asking for it. The heritage registry contains no provisions to protect the property it only allows a person to apply for designation.

#34 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:29 PM

It cannot be done without the owner asking for it. The heritage registry contains no provisions to protect the property it only allows a person to apply for designation.


That's right, and that's why (for example) the building owned by the Freemasons (NW corner of Douglas & Fisgard) is not a heritage-designated building, even though it's one of the older buildings in the city (and part of the summer-time walking tour of historic buildings that took place a couple of times to date). The Masons refuse to have it designated as this would take away their control over it might be altered.

The secret handshake room's redecoration might be subject to inspection, and we can't have that... <jk>

As for Mrs. Kramer, it looks like there isn't a secret handshake in the world that'll open her hand in this matter.
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#35 gumgum

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:57 PM

I wonder if Carolyn Heiman attempted to contact Kramer to get her side.

#36 Rorschach

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 04:48 AM

Reading the article in the paper today, I don't know why the city is contemplating paying compensation if they designate the Janion building as a heritage site against the owner's wishes. It would be far easier and cheaper to expropriate everything and own the place rather than pay to keep it the same. Otherwise, just let them demolish it.

If I were the owner of the site, I would just keep the exterior facade and clean it up or restore it cosmetically so it looks respectable, gut the interior and create a building within the shell of the old building that meets the earthquake standards. The exterior facades could be permanently attached/anchored to a steel frame on the inside. You'd lose a little building space inside, but you could still make a great little boutique hotel/shopping and restaurant out of the place.

The Swans right across the street is a hotel/pub restaurant that's still doing okay.

Heck maybe Phillips Brewing can take it over and convert it into a cool local themed brew pub with the main action on the top floors for the views and the brewing machinery on the lower floors in plain view. You could probably have a rooftop cafe - it's simply a matter of imagining the best use. The building and the site seem like a golden opportunity.

I say the city should expropriate the place for public benefit -- the benefit being they can sell it to someone willing to develop it properly and preserve the heritage value for the public. The heritage value now is zero -- it's a derelict building. Why preserve nothing?

Don't we have anyone in leadership with a scintilla of creativity and vision?

#37 gumgum

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 06:32 AM

City ponders fate of threatened historic buildings
Morley, Janion properties could face demolition, development

My clients would really like to do things with [the Janion building and Morley's Soda Factory sites]," David Houston said. "We want to do something that will complement the neighbourhood and revitalize it ... hopefully using some reclaimed materials.

Sounds like bs to me. She wants to develop both of them all of a sudden, after all these decades?

#38 gumgum

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 06:41 AM

Houston said his clients don't want to demolish the buildings. "The problem my clients face is that they would like to develop the properties, but the cost of doing so, and keeping the current facades in place -- you can't do it economically."


Ken Kelly, executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association, called the situation between the city and the property owners "a Mexican standoff."

Kelly said the association would be "on the front lines of advocating preservation of the buildings. They are too valuable to let slip to the ground. They have been anchors and touchstones to the downtown for more than a century."

As for the economics of revitalizing the buildings, Kelly said: "Who put them in that shape? Who has neglected them for all these years. I can't believe [he] would say something like that. ... We need people who have a vision, and that has every bit as much to do with our individual property owners as with the council."

..

#39 gumgum

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 07:02 AM

Owner's plan to demolish buildings takes heritage advocates by surprise
Council dusts off rarely used powers to keep wreckers away for 60 days


#40 spanky123

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 07:26 AM

Kramer has given the people of Victoria the middle finger for decades.

I am sure that at her age she is not planning to develop the properties herself, sounds to me that perhaps a developer she knows is manipulating things behind the scenes. This sounds like payback for the criticism of the $25M Spencer Interchange loan.

In any event I would like to see Victoria council finally develop some spine and put the blocks to Kramer. Sure it make take a few $$$ in legal fees but I am sure that if you point out to Kramer that she will be dead and buried before the courts finally work things through the system she may be willing to be a little more reasonable.

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