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May 8, 2001
City of Toronto to consider sale of Metro Hall
  
As part of the City's Master Accommodation Plan (MAP), a staff report is
recommending that Metro Hall be declared surplus and that proceeds from the
sale be applied to the 2002 capital budget after the costs of relocating staff
elsewhere across the City have been covered.

The proposal goes before a special meeting of the Administration Committee on
May 14 2001, prior to being considered by Council on May 30 2001.

Councillor Lorenzo Berardinetti, Chair of the Administration Committee, said,
"The proposal to sell Metro Hall as soon as possible serves two purposes.
First, we can relocate City office staff to district centres across the city,
providing cost-effective, local service to residents and getting out of leased
properties. Secondly, the proceeds remaining after the costs of moving people
have been met can be applied to other capital projects and future budget
pressures."

The MAP strategy, approved by Council in December 1999, is based on providing
decentralized service in four district service centres, north, south, east and
west, with City Hall as the headquarters housing councillors and head office
functions. While the City is now largely restructured, many workgroups still
need to be consolidated and relocated. There are still approximately 2600 staff
in Metro Hall.

"Our goal is to do this within approximately two years, with efficiency and the
least disruption possible to the public and to staff," said Corporate Services
Commissioner, M. Joan Anderton. "We are rehabilitating existing buildings to
maximize density, and would save money by purchasing two Toronto District
School Board (TDSB) buildings outside the city core and replacing Metro Hall, a
Class A building, with Class B space downtown."

On the basis of a financial analysis of options done by the Chief Financial
Officer, the report recommends Metro Hall be declared surplus and sold under
the following terms:
  • Leasing back 210,000 square feet of Metro Hall, on flexible cancellation terms, to house south district functions in the short term;
  • Facilitating a conditional lease of Metro Hall space to the TDSB;
  • Acquiring North York and Scarborough TDSB buildings;
  • Acquiring 210,000 square feet class of "B" downtown space (within two-and-a-half years) and then vacating Metro Hall.
Chief Administrative
Officer Mike Garrett noted that "if Metro Hall is sold, it is recommended that
the proceeds could be applied to 2002 capital pressures after funds are set
aside to cover the costs of acquisitions, leasing, leasehold improvements and
staff relocation."


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