The developer of the Eau Claire Market site says relocating the smokestack is the best option to ensure it’s viability so it won’t be stored out of site while redevelopment occurs.
Designated a historic resource in 2008, the smokestack at Eau Claire can’t be demolished or relocated, however, the city wants to remove that designation to do just that.
That will allow the 27 meter brick smokestack to be moved 10 meters to the south of its current location.
Harvard Developments says leaving the smokestack where it is during redevelopment could see it damaged as a four storey underground parkade is built.
As well, Roseanne Hill Blaisdell, a vice president with Harvard says it could lose its significance surrounded by office and condominium towers.
She says the smokestack will be moved one piece at time and into it’s new permanent location at a cost of $1.5 million.
Harvard Development is also giving the city $300,000 for removing the designation that can go to other heritage projects.
The city says when the smokestack is in it’s new location, which is close to 2nd Avenue and 3rd St SW, it will get back it’s historic resource designation.
The heritage community in the city is worried the move will lead to a precedent that will see other developers wanting designations removed on other properties and devalue the primary protection tool for heritage structures.