Rocky View County’s (RVC) former administrative building and associated land will be purchased by the City of Calgary for $13 million, according to an announcement issued by the County July 10.
“Given land values in Calgary and the condition of the old buildings on the site, this was a strong offer,” Reeve Greg Boehlke said. “Completing the sale was a very good move for RVC, and it helps the City of Calgary with [its] need to expand [its] operations in that area.”
According to the press release, both municipalities conducted independent valuations on the buildings and land, and an agreement was reached for the final purchase price. The release added the County fielded a number of inquiries into the land, located on 32 Avenue in Calgary.
RVC bought the land and constructed the former municipal office in 1978, according to Grant Kaiser, executive director of Community and Business Connections. The building was intended to have a 25-year lifespan, but served as RVC’s home long beyond that.
“By the time of its replacement, it no longer met the building code and was generally past its day,” Kaiser said. “For example, there were mould and insect infestation issues, the electrical system wasn’t designed for the computer age and most areas were not handicapped-accessible.”
Additionally, he said, other buildings on the site had been boarded up and condemned.
After approximately two years of construction, the current County Hall in Balzac was completed and RVC moved into its new home Oct. 9, 2018. The old facility was put up for sale shortly after, Kaiser said, and quickly drew the attention of RVC’s neighbour.
Following an in-camera session Jan. 22, council voted unanimously to negotiate a sale agreement subject to council’s approval. On Feb. 12, Kaiser said, the City of Calgary’s offer was discussed in-camera, and once council returned to the public meeting, it unanimously voted to negotiate a sales agreement based on the offer.
“The City of Calgary owns substantial property to the north and east of the site, and the County’s land was ideal for their future growth,” he said.
According to the press release, the sale price took into account minor environmental factors, including hydrocarbons in the soil around old fuel storage tanks, as well as the potential cost of mitigating salt in the soil at former road-salt-storage areas.
“It was understood that the main value of the property was in the land itself,” Kaiser said.
The funds generated by the sale will be added to RVC’s Tax Stabilization Reserve, according to the press release, and will remain there “until council votes to use it for important initiatives, such as disaster relief spending, new initiatives, one-time special projects or unexpected declines in future municipal revenue.”