Madden to buy Founders Hall in Charlottetown


FILE PHOTO: Newfoundland developer Paul Madden, right, with lawyer Jonathan Coady at an appeal before the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.


Madden to buy Founders Hall in Charlottetown

Madden is no stranger to the area. He built the waterfront condominiums next to Founders’ Hall in 2009 and then purchased the property between the condos and Founders’ Hall for a 10-unit, four-storey development in 2013.The Charlottetown Area Development Corporation (CADC) put Founders’ Hall up for sale in October. The asking price for the former tourist attraction, which opened in 2001 at a cost of around $4 million, was $4.8 million. That price was reportedly dropped by more than $1 million.

The sale includes Founders’ Hall and the vacant lot at the corner of Prince and Water streets. Founders’ Hall closed its doors in May.

No one from CADC was available to comment on this story by press time.

The Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. isn’t happy with the impending transaction.

“On behalf of the indigenous Mi’kmaq, the confederacy has repeatedly objected to the sale as  a result of rights-based issues and aboriginal title assertions that have not been addressed in any way,’’ Don MacKenzie, executive director of the confederacy, told The Guardian in an email.

“There has been no accommodation agreement reached with the provincial Crown (the primary shareholder of CADC), and we are still waiting for an official response from the province to our correspondence.’’

MacKenzie said should the sale proceed at this point it would be in violation of the province’s constitutional duty to meaningfully consult and accommodate.

Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the city’s planning and heritage committees, says Founders’ Hall was subject to a development agreement that outlined a number of requirements related to the uses that were proposed.

Specifically, the agreement references the required parking related to the uses that were requested at the time, which included an exhibit arena, theatre, restaurant, boutique area and more.

Most of these uses are no longer in operation.

“The new owner will have to work with the City of Charlottetown to amend this agreement to reflect the new uses proposed for this property,’’ Rivard said. “The parking situation will have to be re-evaluated to determine the new parking requirements on the property.’’

There have also since been a number of changes to regulations pertaining to the waterfront development area, allowing for a range of new land uses that were previously not permitted without seeking council approval.

“The original development agreement restricted the property to a few uses, and the new owner has the ability to utilize a much larger range of land uses that are now permitted in the waterfront zone without seeking council approval. The new owner will be required to work with the City of Charlottetown to either amend the previous development agreement or have it voided as they move forward.’’


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