Surplus Property for disposal under community interest category - Direct Sale

Properties no longer required for use by the Halifax Regional Municipality may be declared surplus by Regional Council and disposed of in accordance with the Policy Administrative Order 50, (AO50) - Community Interest Category. Community Interest properties are those known to have potential for community use where:

  •  there has been a prior community or institutional use of the property
  •  by location or scarcity of available property the consideration for community use would reasonably arise

Program Materials below are listed for information purposes only (Templates):

All inquiries should be directed to

1940 Gottingen Street, Halifax

Description: (PID 00002063) The five-storey former Red Cross Building (1967) is winterized and vacant.

Current Property Size: ~1.2 acres / 0.46 ha.

Applicant: Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Society

Proposed Use: New Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre

Process of Surplus Property Disposal:

The following is a projection of steps required to dispose of the surplus property at 1940 Gottingen Street, Halifax. Estimated time frames are provided as a guide, and thus subject to change.

The following steps, where indicated by asterisk ‘ * ’, are subject to approval by Halifax Regional Council:


Halifax Regional Council, on June 14, 2022, approved the following recommendations, Item 17.1. The balance of the staff report, dated April 25, 2022, remains Private & Confidential:

1. Cancel the commitment of the capital contribution to the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Society and the associated contribution agreement referenced in Recommendations 1 and 2 of the January 28, 2020, Private and Confidential Council Report;

2. Recategorize the surplus property located at 1940 Gottingen Street, Halifax, from Economic Development to Community Interest and dispose of the said property by Direct Sale;

3. In accordance with Schedule 1 of Direct Sale Consideration, Administrative Order 50, Respecting the Disposal of Surplus Real Property, authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to:

  • direct staff to request the applicant, Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Society, to submit the information required in section 8 of Schedule 1;
  • request staff to evaluate the information submitted; and,
  • prepare a report to Council on the Direct Sale of the said Community Interest property;

4. Waive the requirements for a public advertisement and a public information meeting in accordance with the Direct Sale process of the Community Interest category pursuant to Administrative Order 50, Schedule 1, s. 13  (a) and (b);

5. Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to initiate the process to demolish the former Red Cross building at 1940 Gottingen Street and to include the necessary expenditures in the 2023/24 capital budget to be funded by the 2021/22 operating surplus; and

6. Authorize the release of Council’s approved motion [to include approved recommendations] to the public following Council’s decision, as associated with this report.

(estimated: summer-fall 2022)

In accordance with Council’s June 14, 2022 approval of recommendations—specifically 2., 3., and 4. above—and pursuant to Administrative Order 50, Respecting the Disposal of Surplus Real Property, the  Community Interest Category lays out a process of application, review, and report-back to Council regarding the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Society’s application. The following are the primary elements of the Community Interest Direct Sale process:

a)    A letter from Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) Grants & Contributions, Finance & Asset Management, was sent to the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Society (MNFS) inviting their application, immediately after Council’s approval on June 14, 2022.
b)    MNFS has 90 days to submit an application/proposal.
c)    Upon receipt of application, an HRM Review Team will meet to review and score the applicant’s submission. The Review Team will recommend terms and conditions of disposal for Regional Council’s consideration via staff report – see [REPORT NO.2] below).

(estimated: November 2022 - January 2023)

a)    A report to Regional Council [Report No.2], recommending terms and conditions of disposal, will be prepared by staff at the conclusion of the Community Interest – Direct Sale process (see 2.c) above).
b)    Any approved* terms and conditions will be reflected in legal agreements with MNFS (e.g., Agreement of Purchase & Sale).
c)    Staff will also recommend to Council, the configuration and dimensions of the property recommended for disposal to MNFS, subject to survey.
d)    To approve* a below-market-value disposal (for any property valued at over $10,000), Council must first schedule and advertise a public hearing (estimated 4-8 weeks after Report No.2), pursuant to Halifax Regional Municipality Charter, Sections 63 (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5).

(estimated: winter 2023)

b)    After Council’s deliberation of Report No.2, and subject to Council’s approval to schedule and advertise a public hearing, Regional Council would open the floor to public comment at the public hearing about the potential disposal of surplus property at 1940 Gottingen Street.
c)    Pursuant to Halifax Regional Municipality Charter, Section 63 (2), a resolution to sell or lease property referred to in subsection (1) at less than market value shall be passed by at least a two-thirds majority of the Council present and voting.*

(estimated: 2022-2024)

In accordance with Council’s approval of Recommendation 5. on June 14, 2022, and pursuant to further Council approval, the following steps are necessary to demolish the (former) Red Cross Building at 1940 Gottingen Street:

a)    A Request for Proposals will be issued to hire an engineering consultant to provide HRM with a demolition estimate and specifications for tendering (estimated: summer-fall 2022).
b)    Based on the consultant’s estimate, a Project Budget would require Council approval as part of the 2023/24 Capital Budget*.
c)    Upon Council’s budget approval, HRM staff would then issue a Tender Call for demolition and disposal services (estimated: winter/spring 2023).
d)    A demolition tender would then be awarded to the most competitive bidder meeting specifications, subject to Council Approval* (estimated: spring 2023).
e)    Demolition would mobilize subject to contract execution and other regulatory and contractual requirements (estimated: spring/summer 2023).
f)    Demolition and grading of the vacant lot conclude (estimated: 2024).

(estimated: 2023-2024)
Subject to Council’s approval following Public Hearing*:
a)    A legal survey would be prepared, and property subdivision approved.
b)    On behalf of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), the Mayor and Clerk, would execute an Agreement of Purchase & Sale and Buy-Back Agreement with MNFS.
c)    Subject to substantial completion of demolition, the property would be legally prepared for conveyance to MNFS.
d)    MNFS may then submit applications to HRM to obtain development and building permits to begin construction of the new Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre.