Can we put a price on landmarks?

Our Lady of Paris, the literal translation for Notre-Dame de Paris, has received an outpouring of public sympathy following a devastating fire last week.

Having seen Notre-Dame in person I can tell you it’s something to marvel.

The full cost of the fire is still being tallied but I’m not sure you can put a price on something that is nearly irreplaceable.

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New Saskatoon arena given priority

The original Saskatoon downtown arena, nicknamed The Barn, opened in October 30, 1937 on a site overlooking the river. The building began to show its age in the 1970s but the last hockey game took place February 2, 1988 (a week before SaskPlace opened). Clinkskill Manor, a low income seniors highrise now sits on the former arena site.

In a city projecting another deficit year, it might seem strange that Mayor Charlie Clark has decided to lay down a mandate for a new downtown rink.

But Clark has recently declared that a site for the new arena will need to be chosen before the end of 2019.

What’s the big rush?

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Budgeting for success in Saskatchewan

Last week, Saskatchewan’s Minister of Finance Donna Harpauer released her second budget, which projects a $34.4-million surplus for 2019.

Thinking selfishly, I wondered: how does this budget impact commercial real estate sale investment in our province?

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High density spot zoning creates hardship

I purchased my second single family home in 1979. It was located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in a good neighborhood.

The downside was it backed onto a retail strip mall. That wasn’t a concern for me however because everything within that retail corridor was one storey.

Within a year of owning the home, it was announced that a five-storey office building would be constructed overlooking my rear yard.

I immediately sold the property.

Even though the project was public knowledge, I believed it would be easier to sell before it could be seen that the windows in that towering structure would have a full view of my yard.

From that early, first hand experience I can relate to homeowners that are suddenly faced with a project that significantly impacts the value of their home.

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Wasn’t there a Chili’s here yesterday?

The Regina Leader-Post published an article in 2008 with Stu Rathwell, a franchise partner in the new Regina’s Chili’s Grill and & Bar.

Stu shared that his Saskatoon location would be open by that year’s end.

His optimism about the Chili’s brand was hopeful; if things took off as he was hoping, he predicted people could expect to see several more open across the province.

Fast forward to 2019.

If you happened upon Saskatoon’s Preston Crossing the last week of February, you may have caught sight of Stu’s dream deflating right before your eyes.

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Another retail bricks & mortar obituary

Entrepreneurs Louis and Shaol Pozez could not anticipate 63 years ago that the demise of their discount shoe business would be taken down by a network of computers

This isn’t a story from the rejected piles of Terminator franchise spinoffs; this is a reality.

The Pozez’ conception that grew into Payless ShoeSource brick and mortar stores across the U.S. and Canada are officially shuttering.

Their disregard for advancing online sales, in addition to highly leveraged assets, proved fatal.

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Use your own discretion

Whether you’re buying or leasing commercial real estate, a municipality’s zoning bylaw tells you where you can locate your business.

The City of Saskatoon bylaw lists permitted uses and prohibited uses, which are pretty straight forward by definition.

A discretionary use, however, is identified as a use that the City may allow but will require a more thorough investigation before it approves and permits.

The Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) is quickly finding out that a discretionary use in the City of Saskatoon is far from a slam dunk, though.

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Does Saskatoon want or need Farmers’ Market six days a week?

The City of Saskatoon has officially put out a tender to lease the Farmers’ Market building in Riversdale.

At current, the facility is leased to and operated by the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market Co-operative Ltd.

In their original agreement to lease the property, they outlined their plans to expand the market hours over time.

That vision has only grown to three advertised full market days. The City is ready to let someone else take a run at it.

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Saskatchewan cities enjoy lowest commercial to residential tax ratio

There is lots of chatter on the street with the recently released preliminary budget from the City of Saskatoon which proposes a 4.5 per cent property tax hike in 2019.

That chatter is incomplete without stepping back and looking at a couple of key issues.

Those two issues are residential and commercial tax ratios and the ongoing cost of city infrastructure growth.

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