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New owner of Bauhaus-style Edmonton office building says it’s part of downtown ‘renaissance’

A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News

The CEO of Westcorp Property Management Inc.confirmed Friday that his company has purchased downtown Edmonton’s Milner Building (also known as the Northwest Utilities Building).

Phil Milroy said his plans for the new acquisition align with renewal that is already taking place throughout the city’s core.

“The Milner Building is an important historic aspect of our downtown, both because of its architecture and its key location,” Milroy said in a statement.

The Bauhaus-style building is located north of 100 Avenue on 104 Street.

“It will be a component of the renaissance well underway, with the addition of over 200 new apartment homes, an unrivalled amenity offering and an active street front which will extend the existing 104 Street culture,” Milroy said.

READ MORE: New restaurant to take up former Blue Plate Diner space in downtown Edmonton

Limak Investments Inc. sold the building. The company’s president, Kamil Ali Issa, told Global News that the 12-storey office tower was built in 1957.

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“[I sold it because] it reached its life end as an office tower,” Issa told Global News on Friday. “There’s too much vacancy… There’s a lot of vacant office towers and that’s one of them. It needs to be converted into other purposes.

“It’s pretty much vacant right now. There’s only two floors occupied by the (provincial) government.”

In 2017, Global News reported that the building had been sold for $7.5 million. Issa said he sold it for less than that amount and admitted “it hurts a bit.”

READ MORE: 4 downtown Edmonton office towers sold for $160M less than their value 7 years ago

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4 downtown office towers sell at a deep discount – Apr 11, 2017

Issa said the market for office space in downtown Edmonton right now is “pretty tough” and that there is too much inventory.

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He believes many office buildings in the downtown core need to be converted to serve other uses, and in some cases may even need to be demolished.

“But a building like this, it’s too nice to be demolished,” he said of the Milner Building.

“It’s a pretty building.”

View photos in the gallery below.

A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News
A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News
A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News
A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News
A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News
A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News
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A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News
A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News
A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News
A photo of the Milner Building in downtown Edmonton. Global News