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City looking at selling off former fire hall downtown

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The City of Grande Prairie is looking for a buyer for the Community Social Development Building on 102nd Avenue downtown. Manager of Economic Development and Land Brian Glavin says they’ve already seen some interest in the former fire hall from the private sector.

“As we do have surplus property, we can accommodate the current uses within that building and/or we could relocate some to some other buildings throughout the city. We’re looking to monetize that asset essentially by testing it in the market with some potential private sector users.”

In addition to the city’s Community Social Development offices, the building also houses Parks Operations and the Grande Prairie Technical Search and Rescue group, and is used by the RCMP. Glavin says CSD would be moved into the the former Grande Prairie Public School District building beside the Montrose Cultural Centre.

“It has more space than the existing building does for office users so we’ll be able to move the office users in there and then we’ll be also looking for some space to accommodate some of the users that are in the old fire hall bays at that current facility.”

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The parks equipment currently stored in the bays would need to find a new home, and TSAR had previously indicated they would be looking for a bigger space to expand to as well. RCMP would also be given notice to find a new home for their use.

An RFP has not yet been posted on the City’s website, but should be soon, and it’s expected to close a month afterwards. Glavin says the property value has been assessed at $1.35 million, so they’d be looking to bring in something around that amount. However, there could be some flexibility.

“We’ll also take into account what the potential user is going to do with it. If somebody’s going to go in to that building and put some substantial investment into it, the city also gets to look at it from a future property tax perspective as well.”

If the right fit isn’t found, Glavin say they ultimately could keep the building in their inventory. The Grande Prairie Fire Department moved out in the spring of 2000 when the south and north halls were built. It’s considered to be in relatively good shape.

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