One of Toronto’s most iconic buildings is up for sale.
The Flatiron Building, a triangular red-brick office building at the corner of Front, Wellington and Church Streets, went on the market last week.
Eve Lewis, president and CEO of Woodcliffe Landmark Properties, said her company is selling the building now because it’s the first time in about a century that the entire office component is available at once.
The pub Flatiron and Firkin, located at the building’s base, has a lease that will keep it in the location until the end of 2015, but the law firm that has occupied the Flatiron’s office space for the last 15 years is leaving, she said.
“It’s probably a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Ms. Lewis said. “We’ve restored the building and created as much value as we can.”
The building, also known as the Gooderham Building, was constructed in 1892 for George Gooderham, former president of the Bank of Toronto and owner of Gooderham and Worts distillery. It’s five storeys tall and nearly 20,000 square feet, and is designed in Romanesque and Gothic revival style.
A giant trompe l’oeil mural on the back wall of the building, facing Berczy Park, mixes painted windows with the building’s real office panes, and is one of the city’s most unique and flamboyant outdoor works of art.
“That sort of building is going to attract all sorts of interest,” said Andy Willis, a spokesman for Brookfield Asset Management, the company that is overseeing the sale.
Ms. Lewis became CEO of Woodcliffe earlier this year, after her husband, Paul Oberman, died in a plane crash. He was en route from Halifax to Quebec City in March when he and a co-pilot flew into a snowstorm.
Mr. Oberman, a well-known heritage developer, bought the Flatiron Building in 2005, and worked to restore it. He led the redevelopment and maintenance of several other landmark Toronto buildings, including the North Toronto train station, which is now the Summerhill LCBO, and the Shops of Summerhill on Yonge Street.
He was given a posthumous special achievement award by Heritage Toronto for his work in urban architecture.
Ms. Lewis said there’s no asking price on the Flatiron Building. “I suppose it’s definitely possible it could sell for $15- to $20-million, for sure, maybe even more,” she said.
The building sold in 1999 for $2.2 million, according to property records. Woodcliffe purchased it for $10.1 million in 2005.
Bids for the building are due to Brookfield by Oct. 27.