City of Regina planning commission members voted Tuesday to recommend nine residential properties for heritage designations. All of the votes were unanimous, except for the one on a nondescript brick apartment building in the city's transition area.
Prince Charles Place rises 13 stories up from the corner of Scarth Street and 15th Avenue.
Built in 1965 of concrete, and clad in orange brick, its architectural features include projecting balconies and a flat roof, according to a heritage submission from building owner Nicor Group.
"The Prince Charles embraced modern style elements, with a lack of ornamentation and simple, geometric design," the submission noted.
The report states the building has heritage significance because it reflects changing social values through its modernist form and represents an "international" style of architecture.
"One of the interesting things about this property is that it is one of our few modern buildings that is coming forward for designation," said City of Regina revitalization manager Emmeline Hill during the meeting.
"We don't expect to necessarily see buildings like this come forward for designation," Hill said.
Heritage designation helps ensure the features of designated buildings are preserved. It also helps pay for that conservation with grants and a tax abatement.
Heritage buildings are eligible for a maximum $50,000 grant and 10-year tax exemption, according to the planning commission.
Hill said owners must also contribute to the building's preservation to secure the grant money and receive the tax exemption.
The other properties requesting heritage designation this week were all residential buildings.
Ward 7 Coun. Terina Shaw, along with commission member Cheri Moreau, voted against recommending Prince Charles Place for heritage status.
Shaw told the commission she has spoken to architects, designers and local residents who don't see the building's heritage value.
She said the money that comes with heritage status could be motivating property owners to seek the designation.
"We did incentivize this. It's not like all of a sudden people are just like, 'oh I want to do this.' It's like, 'oh, now you're going to give me some money.'"
Hill told the meeting that Nicor Group currently pays $97,000 in annual property taxes on Prince Charles Place, but noted the company will need to invest in the building to receive the grant money and tax incentives.
She said the city would not pay more than 50 per cent of renovation projects, up to a maximum $100,000 project for eligible work. That's in addition to a 10-year tax exemption, which would also require an investment from property owners.
The planning commission voted unanimously to recommend all of the other properties applying for heritage designation, and 8-2 in favour of Prince Charles Place.
City council must still make a final vote on the commission's recommendations.