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27 Gaukel St - Redevelopment
#1
Location: 27 Gaukel St
Developer: Vanguard Developments and Woodhouse Group
Project: Re-purpose the former three storey Schreiter's Furniture store into high tech office space.


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#2
https://www.therecord.com/news-story/679...ough-core/

KITCHENER — The historic building housing the 124-year-old Schreiter's home furnishings business will be sold to a local developer that plans to turn it into a mix of retail space and offices.

Vanguard Development Corp.'s deal for the building at Gaukel and Charles streets in downtown Kitchener is slated to close later this month.

Schreiter's opened on King Street in 1892 and moved to it current location at 27 Gaukel St. Members of the Schreiter family were not available for comment Tuesday, and it is not known where the historic business will move.

"We are converting that (space) to office with potentially some ground-floor commercial," Tom Rakic, president of Vanguard, said of the company's plans for the building.

The phone started ringing at Vanguard as word spread that it was buying the three-floor building containing 21,000 square feet of space.

"We have had some soft inquiries from companies," Rakic said. "That location is phenomenal. It is truly brick-and-beam with tons of glazing, one block from City Hall, two blocks from the Tannery."

Alvin G. Schreiter started in the furniture business in Boutzin, Germany in 1873. He came to Kitchener, known as Berlin at the time, and opened a furniture business at 52 King St. W. in 1882. The business later moved to 63 King St. W.

In 1912, the business moved to the Simpson Furniture Factory at 117 King St. W. Working there with his two sons, Alvin and Herbert C., the German immigrant oversaw the region's largest business that made, sold and repaired furnishings.

In 1929, the furniture business became a separate company called The Deluxe Upholstering Co., which later became La-Z-Boy Canada Ltd. That same year, the Schreiter family acquired control of the furniture store.

The Schreiter's building is listed on the City of Kitchener's register of culturally significant properties.

The Schreiter's building is the second downtown property Vanguard has moved to acquire in the past two months. The other property is the former Schlichter's Automotive building at 132 Queen St. S.

The downtown is new terrain for the company.

"The reason we looked at these commercial assets, it is kind of a reach from our original business model. We are long on downtown Kitchener, both commercial and residential," Rakic said.

"We believe in the growth, we believe that there is a rejuvenation of the downtown core," he said.

The spread of startups around the downtown prompted Vanguard to move into this part of the market, to provide office space for young tech companies and multi-residential buildings for tech workers.

Rakic is an electrical engineer who studied at the University of Waterloo and did co-op placements in Silicon Valley in the early the early 2000s. He likes the impact the growing startup scene is having on downtown Kitchener.

"The culture really reminds me of my time out there 15 years ago," Rakic said. "It is really a community where everyone wants to foster growth."

The Schlichter's building contains about 32,000 square feet of space. There is 16,000 square feet on the first floor, 15,500 on the second floor and 500 square feet on a third floor. The building fronts on both Queen Street South and Ontario Street across from the Grand River Transit bus terminal.

"We are looking to reposition it," Rakic said. "We like that end of town, the proximity to the park, and the LRT line at Charles and Queen, and the parking garage" at Charles and Benton streets.

"We saw an opportunity to provide funky, new retail and office space in the downtown core," he said.

Rakic said renovations on the Queen Street building will begin within two weeks. It should be ready for new tenants by mid-fall, he said.

"We have it out to market, and we are talking to different groups," he said.

tpender@therecord.com
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#3
https://www.therecord.com/news-story/731...r-decades/

KITCHENER — Before the city's oldest retailer had time to settle into a new location on Belmont Avenue, its former home in a historic building in the downtown was leased to a local tech company.

Schreiter's Home Furnishings opened earlier this month at 482 Belmont Ave. W., near Gage Avenue, after decades at 27 Gaukel St.

The Gaukel Street building was acquired last year by Vanguard Developments Corp., and even before work started on renovations it was leased to a local technology company.

Vanguard plans to spend millions on the renovations, and says the tech company will make its own announcement about the move into downtown Kitchener.

"We are renovating the whole space into classic brick-and-beam office space," said Vanguard co-owner Tom Rakic.

The building has 26,000-square-feet of space on the three floors. It will be the latest historic building in the city centre to be restored and occupied by a tech firm.

"They are going to be in mid-to-late fall," Rakic said of the new tenant.

As traditional retail and manufacturing recede from the city centre, tech companies and condo developers are moving in. The trend shows no signs of stopping and is changing the face of the core.

The former Schreiter's building is located across Gaukel Street from where developers Momentum Partnership and Zehr Group plan to put up a 26-storey condo building called Charlie West.

"I think the opportunity is so amazing, and we are still in the early stages," Rakic said of the potential for the redevelopment of empty and underused spaces in and around the downtown.

Demand for interesting workplaces in old buildings, and attractive units in multi-residential buildings are both driven by the expanding tech sector in the downtown, he said.

Vanguard partnered with Woodhouse Developments to buy and renovate the building at 27 Gaukel St. That address is deeply rooted in the city's commercial history.

Alvin G. Schreiter started in the furniture business in Boutzin, Germany, in 1873. He came to Kitchener, known as Berlin at the time, and opened a furniture business at 52 King St. W. in 1882. The business later moved to 63 King St. W.

In 1912, the business moved to the Simpson Furniture Factory at 117 King St. W. where the Matter of Taste coffee shop is now located. Working there with his two sons, Alvin and Herbert C., the German immigrant oversaw the region's largest business, making, selling and repairing furnishings.

In 1929, the furniture business became a separate company called The Deluxe Upholstering Co., which later became La-Z-Boy Canada. That same year, the Schreiter family acquired control of the furniture store.

The former Schreiter's building is listed on the City of Kitchener's register of culturally significant properties. That means the building can quickly be protected under the Ontario Heritage Act with a single vote by city councillors.

The former Schreiter's building is the second downtown property Vanguard purchased. The other property is the former Schlichter's Automotive building at 132 Queen St. S.

"We are about 55 per cent leased up there, and we are seeing a lot of action from these medium-sized companies that are going from a startup to a more established size, and are looking for 8,000 to 10,000 square feet," said Rakic.

tpender@therecord.com , Twitter: @PenderRecord
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#4
Are there still plans for ground-floor retail, or will Thalmic occupy all of it?
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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#5
Thread needs a photo of the current state of the building.
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#6
It definitely does, on Friday night all of the windows were boarded up ( not sure how long it has been in that state).

Also as an aside the other Thalmic building on Charles St looks fantastic at night.
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