New start

Gut­ted Charlottetown apart­ment to be ren­o­vated

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JIM DAY

A boarded-up Charlottetown build­ing gut­ted by an ar­son­ist more than two years ago is fi­nally get­ting at­ten­tion.

A Chi­nese busi­ness­man pur­chased the build­ing on the cor­ner of Prince Street and Grafton Street last year from Joseph Mourad.

Work is now un­der­way to clean up the prop­erty.

Charlottetown Coun. Greg Ri­vard says the pro­posed project – a four-unit apart­ment on the sec­ond and third floors and com­mer­cial prop­erty on the first floor – will go be­fore the her­itage board next week.

With the green light, he says work can begin in four to six weeks.

“It’s one of those build­ings that even though it was not des­ig­nated as her­itage prop­erty, it had her­itage value,’’ says Ri­vard.

“To see it stay in the state that it was in was un­for­tu­nate.’’

He adds the new owner is “try­ing to re­store this (for­mer) house to what it once was.’’

Bill Zhang of Fu­ture Space Dec­o­ra­tion Inc. es­ti­mates ren­o­va­tions will take three to four months.

Den­nis Joseph O’Brien was sen­tenced in Fe­bru­ary 2016 to serve al­most four years in prison af­ter plead­ing guilty to set­ting fire to the city apart­ment build­ing that had nine peo­ple sleep­ing in it.

Some of the res­i­dents were treated for smoke in­hala­tion and burns. Three peo­ple were taken to hos­pi­tal.

Charlottetown Po­lice Ser­vices Const. Mike McGee re­ceived the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s medal for brav­ery for rush­ing into the burn­ing build­ing to help save a fe­male res­i­dent.

The fire also de­stroyed Rose’s Bar­ber Shop.

JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN

Bill Zhang of Fu­ture Space Dec­o­ra­tion Inc. says ren­o­va­tions should be com­plete in three to four months on this build­ing at the cor­ner of Prince Street and Grafton streets in Charlottetown that was se­verely dam­aged by fire in May 2015.

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