January 22nd, 2022

Historic home brought down

By COLLIN GALLANT on September 24, 2019.

NEWS PHOTO COLLIN GALLANT
The Tweed House, which sat at the corner of Division Ave. and First St. SW, was demolished on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. Tthe development company that owns the site is now advertising plans for new high-end townhomes.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

An historic home on First Street came crashing down on Monday morning, and the development company that owns the site is now advertising plans for new high-end townhomes.

The News first reported in July that the previous owners of the Tweed House, located at 56 Division Ave., were making a public appeal that the Victorian style home dating to 1899 be saved.

The new owner, Nickel Group Developments, stated at the time that an original plan to restore the house after a fire damaged portions of it last year would not be economical, and they were exploring other options.

Neither party returned calls from the News seeking comment on Monday, though the company is advertising plans for three-storey townhomes on the site.

The units with common walls are marketed as centrally located, luxurious, affordable properties with asking prices under $450,000.

Excavators set to work on the demolition on Monday morning and only the back-door mud room remained standing by 10 a.m.

The house was home to a prominent merchant family when it was built in 1899, then was transformed to a boarding house and then separate apartments during and after the Second World War. Local couple Gino and Patricia Iannottone acquired the house originally as a rental property, but more recently were amalgamating units as tenants moved out to remake it as a single-family residence.

However, after extensive foundation, structure and other upgrades over 10 years the interior was damaged by arson in 2018.

The retired couple decided to sell the house rather than restart the work. They later said they had hoped the sale and their asking price would spark interest in renovations and upgrades, but sought no formal guarantee from a purchaser who dealt strictly with realtors.

Nickel Group chief Chris Nickel told the News that a renovation would not make financial sense, and a new project would add to the area and bolster City Hall initiative toward in-fill redevelopment.

“It will be a really cool project,” Nickel said in July. “Originally, we would have loved to fix it up … The market being what it is, (a renovation project for sale) would sit there forever.”

The city’s land-use bylaw allows duplexes and cluster housing as a permitted use within low-density residential districts.

A maximum height for such projects is set at 10 metres, rather than delineating height in storeys – a change that occurred in updates after the most recent major update to the planning document in 2013.

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Maurice Shabatsky
Maurice Shabatsky(@maurice-shabatsky)
2 years ago

Sad.
Stupid.
So Medicine Hat.

asthecrowflies
asthecrowflies(@asthecrowflies)
2 years ago

Well said Maurice! I couldn’t agree more!