By Adrian Morrow
Associate News Editor
Ryerson sealed the deal on three properties last week, capping negotiations that began 12 years ago.
The school purchased the former Sam the Record Man location, a parking lot on Church Street across from the engineering building and a small office building at 110 Bond St.
All three properties were previously owned by the Sniderman family, who was once one of Canada’s most powerful music families. The school, under the direction of VP Finance and Administration Linda Grayson, has been bidding for the Church Street parking lot for 12 years, and ultimately scored the property for $9.5 million.
Ryerson paid $2.1 million for the Bond Street office and $23 million for Sam the Record Man.
While negotiating for other properties, the school began talks for the Sam’s building shortly after President Sheldon Levy came to office in 2005.
After the iconic music store closed its doors last summer, Levy applied to expropriate the property, which would have forced the Snidermans to sell to the school.
The two sides avoided expropriation by cutting deal. “We had months and months of discussion with the family, and then the expropriation piece came later on,” Grayson said.
Just two weeks ago, the school bought the building next to Sam’s, where a Future Shop used to be, for $4.9 million, with plans to use the two Yonge Street buildings as the university’s new front door.
The school, however, hasn’t revealed any plans for the Church Street parking lot. “It is truly land banked until we hear from the province,” said Levy, referring to a request for money he made to the provincial government.
While Levy is determined to dismantle Sam’s iconic sign, the school must figure out a way to do so without destroying it, as it is a protected historical site.