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Historic flatiron building in Lacombe on the market for $1.3M

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WATCH ABOVE: There are only two flatiron buildings in the province and one of them is now on the market. The historic flatiron building in Lacombe is seeking a new owner. Julia Wong reports. – Oct 14, 2019

A historic building in Lacombe, Alta., is up for sale.

The city’s flatiron building, one of only two in the province, is on the market for $1.3 million.

“It’s definitely an once-in-a-lifetime [opportunity] to be able to purchase a property like this, in this pristine condition that it is in,” realtor Lori Hellofs said.

The three-storey triangular-shaped building currently houses the city’s tourism office, business offices and residential units.

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Owner Glen Calkins bought the building roughly 20 years ago and said it was a difficult decision to sell the property.

“We no longer need the office space. [I’m] moving on in years. I kind of like to be retired. I go back-and-forth every day. Why are we selling it? Maybe we should just keep it,” he said.
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“I think it’s time for somebody else to take over the reins on this building. We’ve done the heavy lifting to get it back to the state that it was, but we do need to find somebody that would have the same commitment. This isn’t something you can come in and tear down.”

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Calkins describes the building as part of the Lacombe identity.

“It’s a bit of a glue that holds the community together. As much as we want to see Lacombe grow, what we really need to do is make sure we protect the historical integrity of Lacombe from a downtown standpoint,” he said.

The flatiron was constructed in the early 1900s by the Merchants Bank, according to the Alberta Register of Historic Places. It changed hands to the Bank of Montreal from 1922 to 1967 and has housed various businesses through the decades.

“The passage of the railway through the town not only created the triangular-shaped block on which the “flatiron” building is the most prominent feature, it also gave vitality to its business sector,” reads a statement of heritage significance.

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The Alberta Register of Historic Places states the building’s character-defining elements include exterior masonry, window and door patterns and hardwood floors.

Hellofs said a buyer with a passion for historic buildings would be ideal.

“This building is in immaculate condition, so it is a turnkey operation. If you’re looking for something that is a big revenue generator, this isn’t the building,” she said.

“I think professional businesses, lawyers’ office, chartered accountants – there’s lots of opportunity for it. It’s a great place for our city tourism, I can see the economic development office going in there for the city, dental office…the sky’s the limit with this building.”

The flatiron building originally cost $30,000 to build in 1904.

The other flatiron building in Alberta is on Jasper Avenue east of 97 Street in downtown Edmonton.

Lacombe is located about 125 kilometres south of Edmonton.

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