CYFN loses exclusive deal with Canadian Tire

The Council of Yukon First Nations has lost its sole purchase rights to the old Canadian Tire building, allowing the retail giant to entertain other…

The Council of Yukon First Nations has lost its sole purchase rights to the old Canadian Tire building, allowing the retail giant to entertain other offers.

“We’re going to go back to the market because there were other potential parties interested (in the property) at the time we went under contract with CYFN,” said Trent Holfeld, vice-president of Canadian Tire Real Estate Limited, in Western Canada.

CYFN had an exclusive purchase-agreement with Canadian Tire but the deadline for a deal passed on September 7. A brief extension on the agreement — made at the request of CYFN — could not produce a sale.

Details on why the talks broke down are sparse.

Things “went sideways” during the extension, said Holfeld.

“It was a question of how long CYFN thought they needed an extension versus what we were prepared to provide them,” Holfeld said of purchase agreement’s demise.

A meeting with CYFN dealt with amending the terms of the agreement, but the two sides could not agree on a timeline in which terms could be met, said Holfeld.

The offer to purchase included a number of conditions CYFN demanded from the purchaser.

CYFN is still interested in the property, said spokesperson Peter Lesniak.

“There is nothing to say other than that talks are progressing on a number of fronts,” he said.

Lesniak would not say what has hindered the two sides from coming to an agreement. He also declined to speak about the contract extension.

“Because these are financial negotiations no one wants to talk until we have something more to report,” he said.

The two sides are still negotiating in good faith and the failure to make a deal before the purchase-agreement deadline hasn’t created any ill feelings, said Holfeld.

“If they came forward with an amended offer to purchase, we would look at it,” he said.

“We’ve said, ‘Look, if there is a consortium still interested in pursuing this deal, we’d gladly entertain discussions.”

Holfeld is confident the building will eventually sell. He didn’t disclose the asking price, but previous Yukon News reports stated the retailer was asking $4.5 million for the property.

Before the deal with CYFN, the company had a list of interested parties from Whitehorse and outside the territory.

“It will sell, it’s just a question for what,” said Holfeld, adding it is now unlikely a sale will be made before the end of the fiscal year.

The 4,800-square-metre building sits on a one-hectare property located at 4201 Fourth Avenue. It was built in two stages, beginning in 1973 and finishing in 1989.

In May, CYFN announced big plans for the property.

At a news conference, officials said CYFN planned to buy the building for an undisclosed amount, but stated the complete plan included $6.5 million for renovations.

CYFN employees were ecstatic at the possibility of moving out of their current building, which has heating problems and water leaks.

CYFN must vacate its current offices at 11 Nisultin Drive in Riverdale by September 2008.

If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, made more difficult with increased competition, CYFN will be looking at other possible locations.

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