“Inside” the Breithaupt Block

As faithful followers of this Blog will have read here, on November 13th and 14th 2010, the Breithaupt Block hosted an art show. Sonya Lewis from the KPL gave an excellent talk on the history of the building, and Craig Beatty, from Perimeter Development Corporation, gave us a tour of the building.

You fortunate readers get to see some of the photos I took with my trusty iPhone. This is a great chance to see “inside” some buildings you might drive or walk past several times in a month.

Here, Craig is discussing the overall project timeframe, from when they initially purchased the building to when they expect residents to move in. Remember, click on any of the images to see a larger version.

This was the perfect time for a tour because the large equipment, that filled many of the rooms, has been removed, but the refurbishing has not yet started and nothing is currently rented. I attended the Tannery’s open house a few weeks ago, and one of the developers took us on a short tour, but because many of the spaces were rented, we could no longer walk through those areas. But with the Breithaupt Block tour, Craig took us from one end of the buildings to the other and up to the third or fourth floor (I cannot remember how many steps we climbed).

Here is an example of what much of the inside looks like. Craig said one of the great features of these structures is all the high ceilings that you just don’t get with today’s buildings. The first phase of the renovations will focus on one of the buildings in the middle. They want to get a number of smaller clients into the space initially and then create more custom spaces for larger clients as the building’s “vibe” grows:

This is the inside of the building which is next to King street so you can probably recognize the orange coloured window panes. Most of the buildings will be renovated into smaller offices, but the owners would like this building to house a major tenant who will use the entire space.  Initial occupancy of the first office space is more than a year away.

Hey look, some more high ceilings and beams. It is interesting to think of how the buildings will be transformed from a large, empty, industrial site with broken windows, to a set of functional office buildings with a mix of tenants. This is a great development for the area and will get synergy from the Tannery, Pharmacy and medical centre.

Imagine if you will, a high tech company, or group of accountants, or several enterprising business people engaged in ________ sitting in this space and looking out the very large windows. They might even be surrounded by several 4-D screens displaying the future of the universe!

Craig Beatty explained how some of the walls have had large areas cut out where the former owners moved in huge machines. The developers can take advantage of these “cutaway” walls by replacing them with floor to ceiling glass to give that space a different look and feel.

And if you have gotten a little dirty at the end of the day, perhaps a quick shower will freshen you up before heading home on your Segway!

When Perimeter bought the property they thought it was in a great location and that the buildings looked very good. But they weren’t sure what each one was really like because there was so much equipment that filled the rooms. When the equipment was removed they got some great surprises like this room with the beautiful wooden joists and beams.

After our 40 minute walk though the several buildings making up the “Breithaupt Block” it was nice to get back to the hum of civilization and the art show.

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into the interior of this development. We will be watching it transform over the next months and years.

Ted P.

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