Red Deer’s Government of Canada building and former downtown post office. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer’s landmark Government of Canada Building for sale

Former downtown post office has provincial historic status

For $4.5 million, a prime piece of downtown Red Deer real estate can be yours.

The former post office building at the corner of Gaetz Avenue and Ross Street has been listed for sale by the federal government.

Listing agent Brett Salomons, of Salomons Commercial real estate, said the two-storey red brick structure at 4909-50th St. has only one remaining tenant — Revenue Canada — which will be vacating the premises in 2020.

This will leave the entire 3,192 square-metres of office space available — as well as 23 outdoor parking spaces.

Salomons believes this key spot, with great views of the downtown — it’s directly across from city hall, the Red Deer Cenotaph and Stantec building — would be a perfect location for a series of smaller “boutique” offices.

“We’ve even thought about it for our offices…”

Salomons can envision a small coffee shop on part of the main floor. “It would be low impact, there would be nice views of the park, and excellent signage visibility” — although not affixed to the building.

With its “Classical Moderne” exterior, the Government of Canada Building, constructed in 1950, was deemed special enough to get Provincial Historic Resource designation last fall from Alberta’s Culture and Tourism department, so its exterior must be left as is.

The pared-down rectangular building “serves as a tangible recognition of Red Deer’s growth and significance,” according to the provincial heritage statement.It cannot be torn down, and some government funding can be made available towards restoration costs.

A brochure from Salomons Commercial notes a new roof and new boilers were installed over the past 11 years. “The opportunity is offered… to acquire… a building recognized by the province as a heritage site.”

A spokesman from Public Services and Procurement Canada could not immediately answer why the building is being divested — or whether Ottawa is in the process of selling other such properties across the country.

A provincial evaluation noted that Red Deer’s old post office building is rather unique. Most federal structures were clad entirely in stone, but Red Deer’s federal building, like two others in Rimouski and Saint-Jerome, Que., features brick and stone accents.

The report states that the Government of Canada Building, once used for the delivery of old age, veterans’ pensions and unemployment insurance, is a reminder of the “tremendous” growth of the city in the mid-last century.

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