• John Jantak

Mayoral candidate disputes Vaudreuil-Dorion building assessment


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon responds to a question regarding the $133,800 municipal assessment for the 12-storey Future Electronics building and surrounding structures during the Monday evening council meeting on October 2.

Vaudreuil-Dorion mayoral candidate Pierre Séguin is disputing assertions made by Mayor Guy Pilon that the Future Electronics building is apparently in bad condition which has made it difficult to attract new tenants and resulted in an extremely low valuation for the structure.

The issue was raised during the first question period at the Monday evening council meeting on October 2 when a resident asked why the 12-storey tower, adjacent buildings, and 70 acres of surrounding land is generating a relatively small amount of tax revenue for the city.

Reading from a prepared statement, the city’s Director General Martin Houde declared the reason is because the assessment protocol being used by the evaluation firm is based on the current occupancy rate of only 10 percent which also has a direct impact on the value of the surrounding land.

$136,800 municipal assessment

The tower and adjacent structures are currently evaluated at $0.28 a square foot for an assessed value of $136,800. The land is evaluated at $3.03 a square foot for a value of $8,450,800 and a total assessment of just under $8.6 million.

Séguin said he doesn’t understand why there is such a large discrepancy in the value of the building especially in comparison to other commercial structures in the city and insists the assessment is out of line with other types of commercial properties throughout the city.

As an example, Séguin said the five-storey CSSS health and social services building on Boulevard de la Gare is evaluated at $207.74 a square foot for a value of just over $22 million. The surrounding land which is much smaller than the Future Electronics site is evaluated at $15.28 a square foot for a value of just over $2.5 million and a total assessment of $24,733,800.

“It’s my opinion that the city council and current administration failed in their duty to make sure the municipal assessment of this property reflects its real value. I can’t believe that these buildings altogether are assessed at $136,800. It doesn’t make any sense,” Séguin told Your Local Journal.

Building needs modernization

Pilon said a lot of work has to be done to make sure the structure conforms to current building code standards. “It’s a huge building. If someone wants to buy the place they will decide whether they want to invest in the place or demolish it and do something else,” said Pilon.

“The problem is that everyone wants the land and no one wants the building. The land is worth more without the building. That’s the problem. It was built almost 50 years ago. The reason why no one wants to go there is because it’s not rentable. It’s very simple,” said Pilon.

Leasing firm seeks new tenants

The international real estate leasing firm Binswanger Myer Pageau issued a press release September 12 announcing they were awarded a mandate to seek new tenants to occupy the building and adjacent research, production, and warehouse space, a development that confirms the structure is still viable, said Séguin.

The firm, which describes the building on St. Charles Avenue which dominates the skyline along Autoroute 40 as a ‘world class complex’, wouldn’t stake its international reputation trying to solicit new tenants if the building was in poor condition, said Séguin.

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