Councillor seeks heritage designation for downtown Dartmouth post office

Sam Austin doesn't want to see the post office building in downtown Dartmouth, N.S., demolished.

The councillor for Dartmouth Centre wants the 100-year-old building to receive heritage designation before it's sold and redeveloped.

The building is too large for Canada Post's needs, so it's moving into a retail space in nearby King's Wharf.

"By doing that, we encourage the people who are interested in the building to do something creative with it, not just levelling the site," said Austin. "It's been just a prominent landmark in the community."

Austin said given the size of the property, which is located at the corner of Queen and Wentworth streets, he doesn't believe having to retain the stone building will impede redevelopment.

"I think it will guide it," said Austin. "There's some additions on the post office that could be changed and there's a vacant parking lot."

'An open canvas'

The head of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission agrees with the call for a heritage designation.

"It could be a great opportunity for a mixture of commercial, public and residential uses," said Tim Rissesco. "It's an open canvas."

Rissesco said part of the property could even house a municipal museum.

Austin's motion to get the heritage designation process underway will be considered at Halifax regional council on Tuesday. If the motion is passed, city staff would prepare a report.