APM will begin restoring the old Kays Building on Monday (July 23) but the noticeable work will begin in three weeks.
That’s when staging scaffolding will completely encircle the outside of the historic building (in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island) as work begins on preserving the façade.
APM took possession of the building in mid-June after interest in the building, which has been vacant since October 2009, bounced back and forth between businessmen like APM CEO Tim Banks and Danny Murphy for more than two years. Banks entered and dropped out of the picture before a deal was finally struck recently.
The deal for the Kays Building also includes the old SCI building next door.
In total, it will cost $6.5 million to restore the building. Maintaining the original façade will cost $1.6 million but APM will get $1 million of that back through an agreement they have with the province.
There was $1 million in an economic action plan available to CADC, which sold the building to APM for what is believed to be $800,000, for heritage preservation a couple of years ago.
“We’ve spent the last number of weeks (spending) a considerable amount of time on the structure of the main building, the Kays Building itself,’’ Banks said Tuesday (July 17). “We’re going to utilize the main building and the structure with the interior the way it is.’’
The engineering report APM commissioned indicates the columns inside the building will need significant reinforcing on the first two floors.
“Some of them have to actually be replaced and scaled up in size and a lot of beams have to be reinforced.’’
When finished, those beams will look very similar to what used to be in the old building.
“Our crews will be in there Monday starting on the structural part of the building and that’s probably going to take two to three months to get the building (ready) so we can start to pour floors and do things like that.’’
The public should take note that the sidewalks around the building on Queen and Dorchester streets will be blocked off once the staging goes up.
“The biggest thing is to try to get the exterior work done before we get into real frost conditions,’’ said Banks.
Floor elevations will be realigned. The building that SCI has is a separate structure and the floors between the two buildings don’t line up. They’ll have to since the two buildings will become one. APM will also be adding a fourth storey.
Banks has long maintained an interest in preserving the historic nature of the building, whether it was what the City of Charlottetown wanted him to do or not. For the record, the city was adamant about preserving the building if possible.
Banks says opportunities to breathe new life into old buildings don’t come around often for developers.
“There’s very few of them (and) given the history of the building and given the location and given our community’s efforts to show some of our heritage this is an important piece of that. I don’t want to be the guy that’s accused of always knocking something down.’’