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Iconic strip club Jilly's sold to mid-rise developer Streetcar

We may have to concede the whole stripper thing to Montreal.

After yesterday morning's announcement that Jillys will be closing, and that Streetcar Developments will be doing something new and exciting with the old Broadview Hotel, there's really no point in going on.

The hotel was originally built as an office building in 1893 by Archibald Dingman, who struck oil in Turner Valley, just south of Calgary, kicking off Alberta's first oil boom on May 14, 1914. (The second, and current, boom started in 1948 at Leduc.) Dingman later owned a piece of the Scarboro Electric Railway.

Les Mallins, the man who bought the building, is president of Streetcar Developments, the first developer to fully invest in the city's mid-rise condo market. He's not been a run-of-the-mill developer thus far – he started out on his own, for one, renovating a house into apartments and leveraging up from there – and so when he says he wants to return the building to its previous splendour, he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

"Significant investments will be required to repair the structural issues," Mallins says, "and that's just the damages we can see. We're excited to be owners of this landmark real estate and are committed to restoring the building to a place that everyone in the area is proud of."

Oddly, he's also saying the old Broadview will not be turned into condos.

The building's long been seen as an east-end equivalent to the Drake and the Gladstone, so though Mallins isn't saying, that's one possibility. Streetcar's been doing pretty well recently, too, so he could also be turning it back into offices, headquarters from his already Riverside-based company.

But don't expect anything quick. The National Post is reporting that the sale was hastened by the savvy tenants at Jillys, who just took down a couple of load-bearing walls, putting the building's structural integrity in harm's immediate way.

They'll be evicted, according to a statement from Streetcar, along with the residents. The Gladstone and Drake also had residents when they closed, with the Gladstone acquitting itself especially well in the way they handled their relocation.

According to Mallins, "We've been working closely with the operators throughout the process and will work with the people staying there to support in the transition to ensure it's done with respect and care."

Streetcar will close on the property in 30 days, and has given Jillys 60 days to vacate. No word on whether they're looking for new digs. I hear Montreal real estate's still pretty cheap.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Les Mallins
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