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Kitchener to buy Bank of Montreal building in downtown

The purchase price is $3 million
Kitchener City Hall
File photo of Kitchener City Hall

Kitchener City Council has voted 9-2 to purchase the Bank of Montreal building at King and Queen next to THEMUSEUM.

The purchase total is $3 million.

There was an initial offer to sell the property to THEMUSEUM, but the city agreed to buy it and hold onto it for ten years.

It was to allow for the museum to eventually purchase it from the city, tear it down and build a multi-level addition at a cost of $25-30 million dollars.

Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic tells the Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS that THEMUSEUM needs to follow three steps. 

"Demonstrate that they can fiscally get their house in order, do a business plan for the expansion and do a fundraising plan that will demonstrate that the project could go forward."

Vrbanovic says like every cultural institution they are having financial challenges and acknowledges that.

Though with this expansion he says one doesn't have to go to Toronto or New York to see a prime exhibit. 

"It brings almost 100,000 people downtown over the course of a year, so it's an important cultural institution."

Vrbanovic says they're planning to make good use of the building over the next number of years.

"They have up to ten years to get this in order. I think we need to be up front as well and thank BMO for making this property available to it could be used for arts and culture purposes.

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