REGINA — Brandt Developments announced it is starting the demolition phase of the site renewal project for the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) building at 2550 Broad St. in Regina.
The existing structure was built in 1955 and has been vacant since being condemned in 2016 for safety reasons. The building is being demolished and purged of toxic chemicals like asbestos to allow for a new structure estimated for completion in 2020.
“This is an exciting day for Regina. We are very happy to be helping CNIB begin the return journey to their long-time home in Wascana Park. There, they can provide travel and mobility instruction in a safe environment for their many blind and partially-sighted clients once again,” said Brandt vice-president of development Brent Sjoberg in a statement.
The new building will be restricted to the CNIB’s historic land footprint and will maintain and enhance the existing landscaping. The CNIB anticipated the need for a replacement to the deteriorating facility, a release stated, and started formally planning a replacement in 2012 once it was determined simply repairing the existing building would not be viable. The Provincial Capital Commission granted approval for the project last year and construction of the new facility will begin later in 2019.
The new building will be fully accessible and will, according to the release, “include a broad range of state-of-the-art amenities for CNIB and other tenants” with updated design renderings scheduled for release later in 2019.
“We have worked closely with CNIB and the Provincial Capital Commission to ensure that this new facility delivers all of the functionality that CNIB requires, while complimenting the natural beauty of its surroundings. When complete, it will help open the door to increased usage and enjoyment of the park – one of our community’s most valuable assets,” Sjoberg said.
Brandt is also marketing the building to additional tenants and has developed an operating model for non-profit tenants such as the CNIB so they can operate rent-free.
“Strong interest has been received to date, and the building is expected to be fully leased by the completion of construction in 2020,” the release stated.