Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - Printable Version
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Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - Drake - 01-25-2017
Region considering buying former provincial courthouse
Waterloo Region Record
By Catherine Thompson
KITCHENER — The Region of Waterloo is looking at the possibility of buying the former provincial courthouse at 200 Frederick St.
The building has sat vacant for almost four years, after local court services were consolidated in March 2013 at the sleek, new regional courthouse at 85 Frederick St.
The province declared the old courthouse surplus, and in 2016 offered it for sale to other levels of government, including the City of Kitchener, the Region of Waterloo and local school boards, as well as eligible not-for-profit organizations that have registered with the province.
That offering yielded "multiple expressions of interest and (we) are currently in discussions regarding a potential sale," said Ian McConachie, a spokesperson for Infrastructure Ontario, which disposes of provincial property.
Regional Chair Ken Seiling confirmed that the region is considering buying the Frederick Street courthouse. "We're taking a look to see if there is any potential for us to use it," he said.
The property's central location — just down the street from regional headquarters at 150 Frederick St. and the Kitchener detachment of the Waterloo Regional Police Service at 134 Frederick St. — makes the property attractive, Seiling said. But the fact the building was built for an entirely different purpose and would likely need considerable interior work means that the region needs to take a close look "and see whether there's a match or not," Seiling said.
The region most recently bought the 1965 former county courthouse at the corner of Weber and Frederick. It spent $21 million to renovate the space before regional staff moved there in September 2015 from office space leased elsewhere.
McConachie wouldn't say how many parties expressed interest in the Frederick Street property, and said it could take several months for potential buyers to decide whether or not to put in an offer. "Discussions are continuing. We hope it will lead to a sale."
The three-storey concrete building was built in 1977, measures more than 87,000 square feet and sits on slightly more than two acres of land at Frederick at Lancaster streets. It's easily recognized by the distinctive but controversial twisted orange fibreglass sculpture in front of the building.
It was designed in the Mid-Century Modern style by Kitchener architect John Lingwood, a prolific local architect who put his stamp on a number of prominent local buildings in the 1950s and '60s, including the former University Heights high school (now a campus of Conestoga College), the TD Bank at King and Francis streets in Kitchener, the Kitchener transit terminal and the John Aird Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University.
If no sales materialize from the expressions of interest, the property would be put on the open market, McConachie said.
firstname.lastname@example.org , Twitter: @ThompsonRecord
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - MidTowner - 01-25-2017
haha Thanks for the laugh! I for one want to see local ownership and appropriate stewardship of the whatever-it-is.
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - Canard - 01-25-2017
Would buy the whole lot in a heartbeat. I still take a photo of it every time I walk by, just because I love it so much.
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - Chicopee - 01-25-2017
That's hilarious, good topic for a poll! I'm sure if the city or region buys the property, it will remain forever.
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - DHLawrence - 01-25-2017
I'm amazed the thing is still there.
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - Canard - 01-26-2017
I will chain myself to it if anyone threatens to touch it.
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - Markster - 01-26-2017
Art is preferable to no art.
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - Spokes - 01-27-2017
One of the things I took from the article most was that it's been empty for almost 4 years. I can't believe it's been almost 4 years since the new courthouse opened. Crazy
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - rangersfan - 01-27-2017
That does seem crazy.
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - Canard - 01-28-2017
Has anyone ever been inside it? I wonder what it looks like inside.
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - tomh009 - 01-28-2017
30 years ago! The courtrooms seemed nice at the time, but that was a long time ago. And it might not be so easy to repurpose.
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - Spokes - 01-28-2017
(01-28-2017, 11:07 AM)Canard Wrote: Has anyone ever been inside it? I wonder what it looks like inside.
I attended a court case as part of a high school class.
The biggest issue I see is that its DARK inside. And very choppy as far as layout. It was never meant to be anything more than a courthouse and was built as such. I could see major issues re-purposing it.
I wonder if some connection to KWAG or CITS would make sense?
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - KevinL - 01-28-2017
Once, about 10 years ago. I'd witnessed some vandalism and they had me make a deposition.
I found the hallways dark, with a confining feel despite their generous width. Very much a product of its time.
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - Canard - 01-29-2017
It's never been part of the Doors Open programme, has it?
Buildings like that can be misleading though - my other half toured me around the Psychology building ("bunker") at UW, which I simply adore, but aside from the incredible hexagonal atrium, the inside is rather unremarkable. I worry I have this impression that the inside is just as nice as the outside but it'll be all just exposed painted brick walls and drop ceilings. Nothing would thrill me more though than to be proven wrong by the existence of indirect valance lighting, bas relief concrete and built-in benches with giant vinyl orange-and-brown cushions
RE: Courthouse 200 Frederick St, Kitchener - panamaniac - 01-29-2017
I suggested the old Provincial Couthouse to the Doors Open folk a few years back and I believe the response was that it would be difficult, given the fact that it was a shuttered building of the Province.