Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Metro Hall sale won't net City much: Report

TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford’s City Hall won’t be flush with cash if it unloads Metro Hall.

A staff report going to the government management committee next week says there would only be “marginal financial benefits, if any” if the city were to sell the John St. property. City staff also say further study of the idea would take eight months and require $400,000.

“The preliminary analysis concludes that there are marginal financial benefits, if any, associated with the sale of Metro Hall when compared to the cost of relocation,” Joe Casali, director of the city’s real estate services, wrote in the report.

Around 2,800 city staffers currently work in Metro Hall which houses a variety of city services including the 311 Toronto call centre.

Staff looked at three options including selling and leasing back space in Metro Hall, selling Metro Hall and relocating staff to a non-downtown leased location and selling Metro Hall and relocating staff to a non-downtown purchased location.

The report also included a confidential attachment with the current estimated value of Metro Hall.

Back in January, government management committee chairman Councillor Paul Ainslie floated the idea of looking at selling Metro Hall.

Ainslie argued at the time the city should look at its options for the 27-storey downtown building given Toronto’s hot real estate market.

“We need to be looking at our assets,” Ainslie said.

Ainslie could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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