News / Winnipeg

Mayor Bowman wants to 'bulldoze' old Public Safety Building

Bowman said cost to maintain the structure is too high, as is the development potential in the area.

The brutalism of the old PSB might not stand much longer, with a new steering committee being struck to plan its demolition and the redevelopment of the area.

Metro File

The brutalism of the old PSB might not stand much longer, with a new steering committee being struck to plan its demolition and the redevelopment of the area.

Mayor Brian Bowman didn’t mince words Thursday when he announced his full support for demolishing the existing Public Safety building (PSB).

“We need to decide what we’re going to do with the space, and bulldozing it is what I want to see,” Bowman said.

All staff will have vacated the aged building by July, when the move to the new Winnipeg Police Headquarters in the old Canada Post building on Graham is expected to be complete.

Bowman said that generally, he’s “a strong proponent of heritage (and) preservation in our downtown.”

“Unfortunately that just is not going to be a good use of our funds… my understanding is it is not structurally sound,” he said.

Nearby, the brutalism of the PSB—built in 1966—is reflected in the modernist architecture of City Hall, built in 1964.

“That space (city hall) is being used,” he said. Whereas the PSB is “beyond repair.”

He also supports tearing down the parkade next to the PSB, which has been vacant since 2012.

He said freeing up the space both structures sit on will open up potential for redevelopment in the heart of the city.

“I just look at the area, it’s in proximity with the exchange, and its ability to connect the east and west exchanges, it’s just a tremendous opportunity,” he said, adding that it’s something that “as a community, we really want to get everybody as engaged as possible (on) this year.”

Coming up, Bowman said consultation with stakeholders will be key to making sure the space is not just used, but used well.

“We really need ot hear from the design, the arts, the cultural, the planning, the business community… (and from) local residents,” he said. “I’d like to see things move as quickly as possible, but we also want to make sure that we get it right.”

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