A Windsor developer believes the bones for a sleek, modern design lie beneath the vines and blown out windows of the Walker Power Building.
Conceptual images from Walker Power Building Inc. posted to their website show the iconic building's familiar red brick paired with gleaming glass stairwells and a well-lit atrium.
The company bought the building in 2016 and hopes to convert it into a "modern day show piece" that will draw pedestrians and expand the Walkerville neighbourhood.
"The intent of the reconstruction is to generally maintain the heritage design features," explained Piero Aleo, a consultant on the project. "The design generally replicates the existing design with some contemporary features."
Aleo said the city is "super excited" about the project, which is valued at $10 million and is expected to be ready to take on occupants by fall 2018.
"It's an incredibly exciting project … a monumental project," said Ward 4 councillor Chris Holt, who added he's been aware of the proposed project for some time.
Holt said the design has a "wow" factor that will act as a gateway to connect Riverside Drive East with Walkerville.
The councillor said the drawings show a mix of retial and office space that would require zoning changes, not to mention the building's heritage designation.
Commercial property, in particular, is as "rare as hen's teeth" in the neighbourhood, according to Holt, so he's willing to work with the developer to help the project happen.
"Bring everything to the table and let's work to make this a successful development," he said.