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  • prof
    November 15, 2012 - 19:04

    Great move for MUN, not so good for the city. The loss of tax dollars is substantial, not only the lost property tax but a significant loss of development jobs and permits. If Mr Butler was allowed to develop the property it would have provided a substantial boost to the economy. The loss to taxpayers is compounded by the fact that if MUN required additional space they would have eventually built a new facility somewhere else in the city.

  • David Lambert
    November 15, 2012 - 18:01

    Does this city or province want tourism dollars or not? I'm confused. Let's face it Signal Hill is the City's Crown Jewel. Why won't the municipal government work with those who will put money into the city instead of taking it out. Besides MUN is becoming a behemoth, with way too much of a foot print in this City.

  • Terrence Patrick
    November 15, 2012 - 16:21

    Don't bother Dennis O'Keefe, he is preoccupied with saving the concrete block, echo chamber, hang out, smoke shack, band stand in the virtually empty Bannerman Park. Naturally, the public will have to make up for the lost revenue not generated by the sale of this property to the University. Empty buildings, garages etc in Pleasantville are in better shape then the Battery. Renovate and don't loose another tourist attraction on Signal Hill. Convert the new parking garage (MUN-Health Science proximity) Do the owners of the leased properties off campus pay taxes. Do we loose double or is it doubly Mr. O'Keefe in this proposed deal. Senior Taxpayer.

  • seanoairborne
    November 15, 2012 - 16:09

    If the people that wanted to put condos, or renovate the hotel, had been allowed to do what they wanted the city would be getting even more revenues then what they're going to get by selling this place to MUN!But,the old nags and hags at City Hall,Shannie The Rhino Duff and her cohorts get all up in arms over the so-called historical value of a bunch of rocks with shacks already hanging out all over them to keep the place in the 1920s.It sickens me!Every time there's a story on St.John,s in the media they always show this pile of rocks with the outcropping shacks and people watching from other countries and Provinces think that St.John,s is just another Newfie fishing village.Get real people,if you really want progress in St.John,s then get rid of all the old dinos.on city counsel and put in some new forward thinking young blood!It's time to put out to pasture the GEEZER BUNCH at CH!

  • Bob
    November 15, 2012 - 14:07

    Terrible Move!! Great for MUN getting a deal on a great location and property, but the battery is a tourist ICON in the city! Sure its ran down and needs some up kept, but this property has one of the greatest tourist potential is all on Altantic Canada. It just needs the right investors, and more importantly the city has to work with the investors instead of shutting them down. It should not be used for the private sector where only a few get to enjoy its location. This will be the new picture of MUN and they will make a killing out of this. Oh just Terrible! Bottom line businesses in the downtown core will suffer, mark my words! Tourists spend more then students, Why can't this city ever get anything right!?

    • Jay
      November 16, 2012 - 07:49

      Bob, You're correct. The city can't get anything right because it is totally reactive and geared to promoting individual councillor's legacy projects. It seems that every discussion we have regarding development in this city is based upon the city reacting to a special interest group or to a proposal outside existing regulations which tickle the councillors fancy at any given time. In this case, the mayor "thinks" it's a good idea. Right now, we're also talking about a band stand in BannermanPark because the mayor's "nostalgia meter" kicked in. I wonder would it have kicked in if Sobey's or Loblaws had put in a proposal to build a supermarket there. Recently, I attended a presentation by a developer to build a swimming pool at Wedgewood Park to replace a swimming pool at Wedgewood Park at a cost to the city of $40 million. The city had gone so far as to hire an architect without even considering concerns of the residents regarding traffic on Carrick Drive or the fact that they'll now have to build another baseball field because they're displacing hundreds of minor baseball players. The residents of the area were treated like children at the presentation, and were forced to listen to the developer, about what seems to be a done deal, until he was finished. For some reason these clowns have decided to go on a spending spree while talking about raising taxes again, without any planning. How about involving the public in a discussion about something simple like lower taxes and basic services such as proper road and sewer maintenance, rather than reactionary development and legacy projects. It seems that the only ones who get an audience are those who want to circumvent existing regulations or those who want to spend money on legacy projects. Is there an election around the corner?

  • WhatsUpDoc?
    November 15, 2012 - 13:32

    Simple loop holes in policy will mean City Hall will not see a red hot copper of the lost $300,000 in property taxes! You dont think the bean counters at MUN didint factor that into their decision to purchase this Relic? Come on Denis you're starting to sound like O'leary!

    • Steve
      November 15, 2012 - 14:13

      You fail to understand that under provincial law, provincial government buildings including any that are occupied by MUN, whether on or off their main campus, are exempt from property tax. The decision by MUN would not have been affected either way by how much property tax used to be paid by the Battery, because they would not be paying property tax no matter where they are located within the city. This has nothing to do with O'Keefe or O'Leary.

  • Copes
    November 15, 2012 - 13:31

    "The sale to MUN would also put to rest the push between the city and private development proposals for the site that have become contentious over the years, O’Keefe said." The only problem now is that it seems St. John's will have the eye-sore that is The Battery hovering over it for who knows how long. If MUN is going to turn the interior into offices, I hope they are required to do something with the exterior too. As it stands, its awful to look at. Follow the path of the TSC to Inco transformation and turn the Battery into something we can be proud of. Only then will I be happy with this sale.

  • Will
    November 15, 2012 - 13:08

    JEFF S - I think you lack some very basic understanding of, well, everything. A private company went out of business. That has nothing to do with MUN. People who lost their jobs as a result should look to the management of the company, as well as the potential role they themselves may have played. Despite being in a tremendous location, the battery had unfortunately garnered a reputation for being dirty and run down. Who exactly are you proposing should renovate this building and turn it into modern hotel rooms or condos? If there was a company positioned to do that at a profit, they would. We are fortunate that MUN was in a position to consolidate their own accomodation needs by purchasing the site. Hopefully, they will make required upgrades and restore the landmark site into something we can again be proud of. This is a win-win situation which has nothing to do with any level of government in the province.

  • Just Saying
    November 15, 2012 - 11:57

    Smart move MUN. Makes good sense, at least MUN is being responsible with their money.

  • crista
    November 15, 2012 - 11:37

    churchill falls sold for 1$ and pleasantville bought for 1$????

  • Johhny
    November 15, 2012 - 10:30

    Why should we care what NAPE says? They don't own the property - their opinion on the management of the site is irrelevant now that it is no longer a hotel If NAPE says anything, they should apologize to the city for helping turn the Battery Hotel into the dump that it is. Nothing like having the claim to fame as one of the dirtiest hotels in North America (Trip Advisor). While I try to support unions for some of the important and necessary contributions they make to workers lives, this is one example of how a union has contributed to the destruction of a business. Also, Telegram - you should be a little more accurate on the Rick Butler statement. It isn't that he couldn't get development permission - it is clear that he was unwilling to work within the development guidelines and recommendations. He refused to try to develop something that was in the best interest of the city. If gave some attention to urban design guidelines - if he attempted to design a building that better fit with the site - he would most certainly have received permission.

  • Dan
    November 15, 2012 - 10:14

    @CAROGERS I guess you are out of a job at the battery! (boo hoo) We will see just how cost neutral it will be unless your great wisdom on this dump can provide us with the financial details as it appears you have the inside track on this one.

  • Ed
    November 15, 2012 - 10:14

    People need to really learn how to read and stop making assinine comments. It is clearly stated that "The building and operations will be cost-neutral to the university. Funding will be provided from redirecting lease expenditures for off-campus space and revenue generated from university activities at the facility." If I had to rent space in 10 office buildings to keep all of my employees...it would make better sense (financially and logistically) to buy one larger one for the same cost as renting 10. Also, MUN is currently in the process of expanding the Engineering Department facilities and it was just announced that they will be builiding a new Science building. People also need to stop assuming they know what they are talking about when it comes to MUN wasting "research funding", especially since they obviously aren't involved in the day to day operations of the University. What does it matter that the hotel will no longer be used as a hotel??? It will still be put to good use. If it was successful and gaining revenue as a hotel, it would not be for sale.

  • saelcove
    November 15, 2012 - 10:05

    They mean the government bough it for MUN

  • MBC
    November 15, 2012 - 09:53

    No way should this space be used for anything other than a motel/hotel. This is a great tourist attraction. Council should have as strong say to ensure it remain a hotle.

  • Victor
    November 15, 2012 - 09:28

    I guess this is what they spend some of their funding dollars on. Good to know this is what they spend our money on. They are given so much money to help provide education and services, what a joke. I agree, what a waste of a beautiful location. The building is a dump but the possibilities were there. You can fix ugly but I guess you can't fix stupid.

  • Unknown
    November 15, 2012 - 09:26

    Why Don't MUN buy the old janeway lot & build there

  • Shawn
    November 15, 2012 - 08:52

    Good to see that the building will be used for this purpose; to be honest, the quality and reputation as a hotel, especially the past few years, has been seriously lacking.

  • Jack
    November 15, 2012 - 08:38

    Too bad Memorial University are not using the building for its original purpose, accommodations. In other words, it should be used as a residence, not for offices.

  • Jacinta
    November 15, 2012 - 08:30

    I guess I know where I'm applying for my next job. Can you say harbour view?!!!!!

  • Frank
    November 15, 2012 - 08:07

    5 comments and no one blamed Kathy Dunderdale yet. Must be a record.

    • Kent
      November 15, 2012 - 08:35

      I'm guessing you are the President of the Dunderdale Fan Club?

    • Robb
      November 15, 2012 - 12:24

      Hey Frank......give the liberals and ndp a chance to get up, then read this....I sure they will put the blame on the govt somehow....it will be interesting to see how the liberals and ndp can work the Muskrat Falls project into this.......what a joke they are........and never mind what Kent says...he must be just an angry liberal that cannot think up a way to turn on the govt.....obviously needs more time to think about it......"President of the Dunderdale Fan Club".??.....how silly.....what grade are you in Kent....2...3...??

  • Robert
    November 15, 2012 - 07:51

    I think this is great news! Sad the hotel workers have lost their jobs but I'm sure another hotel chain will quickly fill the void. This news is far better then some kind of condo development. The university adds a great deal to the economy and culture of St. John's and the province as a whole. And given the current lease rates in and around St. John's it makes good business sense to own property the university needs. As for the naysayers; I hear the Liberals are looking for a leader, again!

  • Paul Walsh
    November 15, 2012 - 07:46

    A brilliant move! Universities are seeing the value of downtown locations and this will be iconic to say the least. As a Business School Alum I would love to see the faculty move to that location - right in the heart of NL's business community.

  • Jeff S
    November 15, 2012 - 07:30

    What a complete waste of prime real estate that sits atop the most iconic St. John's location. If nothing else this building should be renovated into modern hotel rooms or condos and should be kept as a hotel. Now MUN is going to use it as an office building? I don't tend to cry foul over many things in this cty as progress from city hall is as fast as molasses going up hill on a cold morning. But this is just a waste of a beautiful location in my opinion. Long-term employees of a local establishment are losing their job because MUN can't or won't build a new building.

    • JJT
      November 15, 2012 - 07:44

      If you think it's a waste of a beautiful location, then buy it yourself and do something with it rather than complaining.

    • Tunder Struck
      November 15, 2012 - 08:32

      It's a glorified dump, there's rats up there big enough to rival a gulliver's cab. Great view, but this needs to be tore down and built again from the bottom up. if you swabbed a room in this pay by the hour facility you'd be amazed at what you'd find. Should've been renamed The Bacteria years ago.

    • Will
      November 15, 2012 - 13:05

      JEFF S - I think you lack some very basic understanding of, well, everything. A private company went out of business. That has nothing to do with MUN. People who lost their jobs as a result should look to the management of the company, as well as the potential role they themselves may have played. Despite being in a tremendous location, the battery had unfortunately garnered a reputation for being dirty and run down. Who exactly are you proposing should renovate this building and turn it into modern hotel rooms or condos? If there was a company positioned to do that at a profit, they would. We are fortunate that MUN was in a position to consolidate their own accomodation needs by purchasing the site. Hopefully, they will make required upgrades and restore the landmark site into something we can again be proud of. This is a win-win situation which has nothing to do with any level of government in the province.

  • Dan
    November 15, 2012 - 07:16

    MUN says no more credit card payments for books, tuition etc. because it cost too much, NOW they buy a dilapidated old hotel?????? Who is running that place!

    • Jordan
      November 15, 2012 - 07:58

      I guess we know now the REAL reason that MUN is carrying out 3 percent cuts on average to all MUN departments, faculties, schools, etc: they need the money for real estate. Those losing because of this decision: the loss of the iconic signal hall battery hotel, the workers, conferences (such as CFS-NL) that use this location. And places like the MUN sexual harassment office that are having its proactive educator position cut from 12 months to 6 months of funding. MUN, get your priorities straight! You are cutting back on an educator position that helps to prevent sexual harassment at MUN due to financial constraints and then you buy the signal hall battery hotel! Stop lying to students about the finances of our university and come clean with us about the REAL state of its finances!

    • carogers
      November 15, 2012 - 08:58

      Dan have you ever been in the Battery Hotel? Its not "dilapidated" its very well maintained and has a pool and gym and established resturant. All of this will be utilized by our own residents of the province. There is a trail just across from the hotel that leads to Cuckels Cove all the way down to the sea. The current payments on leases MUN has on space all over the city will now pay for the ownership of ths hotel. Thats what "cost neutral" means in the third paragraph. As for jobs there will be a need for entry level jobs to keep up this facility. If God himself proposed an new idea you'd find fault because of your negative attitude.