REGINA — It took three years, but the John Paul II centre has finally been sold. Nicor Group, a Regina-based property management/development company, purchased the property from the Regina archdiocese with the final documents signed and payment made in early January.
“We’re very pleased,” said Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan. “We’ve been trying to sell that property for a number of years. There have been a number of prospective buyers but none of them were able to complete the purchase so I’m very happy we were able to sell it.”
John Paul II Centre was originally built in 1959 as a convent for the Sisters of the Precious Blood, then purchased by the archdiocese in 1985 when the sisters built a smaller convent just north on the same property. JPII was used as an educational and training centre, housing several programs and services delivered by the Regina archdiocese, including the Regional Marriage Tribunal.
Declining enrolments for some of the programs led to its closure by 2007 with the remaining programs moved to St. Michael’s Retreat Centre at Lumsden. The Marriage Tribunal is now located in the chancery.
JPII was put on the market in 2011. The sale price has not been publicly announced but previous bids on the property were in the range of $2 million. The city of Regina lists its assessed value at $1,822,400.
Bohan said while no decisions have been made, it is likely the money from the sale will be used for a number of needs in the archdiocese, including the chancery and Martha House. Martha House is owned by the archdiocese and houses several retired priests and laymen.
The chancery office is the former St. Anne’s School and is owned by the Regina Roman Catholic School Division. “We moved here about 20 years ago on a temporary basis,” said Bohan, “and our situation here is tenuous.”
The Nicor Group of Companies is well known in Regina for its redevelopment of heritage properties and is the recipient of numerous awards for its work in that area. The president of Nicor, Ross Keith, said they are in the planning stages and their immediate plan is to keep the existing building.
“We appreciate the building. It is an amazing building, incredibility well built,” said Keith. He said his company has been over the building carefully, are committed to the deal and are satisfied that there are options that the company can make work.
“The key to the way we do things is we want sensitive renovations because the fact that the building is unique is a plus not a minus in terms of marketing.”