Now, over four years after a fire destroyed the historic Gummer Building downtown, and nearly two years after all construction on the rebuilding project ceased, comes news that the massive crane over the Guelph skyline will move once more.
“We’re going to get going as soon as possible,” chief operations officer Jason Ashdown said. “I hope to give the crane a test run (Wednesday) and be back under construction within two to three weeks.”
That's good news for all us downtown dwellers who've had to look at the burnt out, though half-constructed, husk of the Gummer Building for two years and wonder when (of ever) construction would ever get going again.
Tuesday's announcement seems to stem from a decision Monday night by city council to allow Gummer project owners, Skyline, to convert apartment units in a Yarmouth St. building into condos in exchange for creating 20 new rental units in the Gummer Building. Skyline will also take up office space in the new building, along with previously announced tenants, The Co-operators, who are moving staff from an office on Scottsdale Drive to the core.
The historic Gummer Building was destroyed by fire on Good Friday, April 6th, 2007. A consortium of Skyline employees later purchased the building for redevelopment, getting tax credits form the city for preserving the historic visage. Construction ceased in the Summer of 2008 as the Global Recession started heating up and funds started drying up.
We shall if the prophets are right, and the great construction crane in the sky will move again soon.