Building salesman on Ryerson board

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By Natalie Alcoba

A member of Ryerson’s board of governors is the real estate agent handling the sale of 111 Gerrard St. E. — a property the building’s manager says Ryerson has expressed interest in buying.

Paul Cheevers, alumni representative on the board of governors, and former RyeSAC president in 1995-96, is a real estate broker with Lennard Commercial Realty Ltd., which represents the group of people who own 111 Gerrard St. E.

The building’s manager, Peter Teoh, said Cheevers has told him Ryerson is looking into buying the four-storey building, home to Dominion College, a private secondary school, Young Thailand restaurant, Mother Taste Cafe and a handful of apartments.

“They are interested in purchasing it but nothing has been finalizes,” Teoh said.  “it is too premature to tell.”

Teoh said Cheevers has been by to show several parties in the building, but was unsure if any of the groups that toured the facility were affiliated with Ryerson.

Cheevers said there is no conflict of interest between his brokerage of the property and his seat on the board of governors, the university’s main decision makers.

“It could be a conflict of interests if it escalates to the board level, but not at this time,” Cheevers said.

Any property purchased by Ryerson would first have to be approved by the executive committee and then by the board of governors.  Cheevers does not feel there is any need to inform the board of governors yet about his stake in 111 Gerrard St. E.

“There is no need to disclose this information to the board because there is no conflict.  I am working for the numbered company [that owns the property],” he said.  “I am not working for Ryerson.”

Ryerson officials are being tight-lipped about their interest in the building.

“At this time Ryerson has not purchased the property,” said Ian Hamilton, director of campus planning.

Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s v.p. administration and student affairs, would not comment at all about property matters.

When asked about Cheevers being the real estate agent responsible for 11 Gerrard St. E., Grayson again responded that she would not comment on property matters.

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