The demolition of the “Tin Grotto,” a 73-year-old Sooke building, will take place soon.
Council awarded the contract for demolition of the building at 2067 Otter Point Rd to Maple Ridge-based T&T Demolition.
“I think at this point, the building is only being held together by memory,” said Mayor Maja Tait. “It first came on my radar in my first term, over a decade ago. There’s a lot of history there, but the building is unsafe and it’s time to say goodbye.”
The demolition order comes after owner Dennis Woodward, of Denwood Holdings Ltd., was denied the chance to fix up the building, which Sooke municipal staff deemed an “eyesore” and in a state of “unsightliness and disrepair.”
In recent years, the district received many complaint letters dealing with garbage, graffiti, rat infestations and more in and around the building.
The Tin Grotto was constructed in 1946 by Bill Lindley and served as Sooke’s first machine shop. It later converted into Sooke Trading, an eclectic market of used materials before it closed over a decade ago. It’s been empty ever since then.
“It’s a long time coming. It’s sort of bittersweet,” Coun Ebony Logins said.
The demolition will cost $221,275, plus an additional amount of up to $15,000 for site grading, drainage and contingency.
The district will put demolition costs on the property owner’s municipal taxes if Woodward does not pay the bill within 60 days. If not paid, the property will go to tax sale.
According to B.C Assessment, the property’s total value is shy of $461,000, with the land at $440,000 and the building at $20,900.
Tait pointed out that the building is structurally compromised, as it has significantly aged without any remediation from the owner. She said she’ll be there when the building gets torn down to take a photo for the district’s keepsake.
The structure, consisting of a metal exterior and various pillars, will be taken apart behind a fenced-off area instead of bulldozed.
“It’s sad to see this thing go, but it’s been here since 1946,” Coun. Jeff Bateman said. “Obviously, the time has come.”
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