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Harbour Grace courthouse going to YellowBelly Brewery owners

The historic Harbour Grace courthouse was built in 1830.
A new owner has been found for the 189-year-old courthouse building in Harbour Grace. - Compass file photo

Land, building deal made for over $53,000; same company purchased nearby church last year

HARBOUR GRACE, N.L. —

It would appear a new owner has been found for the historic courthouse property in Harbour Grace.

According to an April 12 Order in Council, the Department of Transportation and Works received authorization to sell the courthouse and some adjacent land to Republic of Newfoundland and Labrador Brewery Ltd. for $1 and $53,320, respectively.

That company purchased another noteworthy structure in the community just last year, the former Immaculate Conception Church.

Brenda O’Reilly and Craig Flynn, owners of the YellowBelly Brewery and O’Reilly’s Irish Pub, announced plans to use the 127-year-old structure as part of a brewery, restaurant, hotel and spa development.

It’s been more than three years since the courthouse was last used. Before the justice department moved provincial court to the Babb Building on Harvey Street at the beginning of 2016, the courthouse was Newfoundland and Labrador’s oldest public building still in use. The 189-year-old courthouse is in need of substantial repairs to address structural issues. Like the courthouse, the church down the road also requires considerable repairs.

Harbour Grace Mayor Don Coombs told The Compass he was aware the church’s owners were also interested in the courthouse.

“We met with the minister of transportation (Steve Crocker) a while ago, and all we asked was that he would let the town know what was happening,” he said. “You don’t want to see an old apartment building there, right? He did touch base and they were in negotiations at that time.”

The mayor is pleased to see the courthouse building has a future.

“There people obviously are prepared to make an investment in our town, which is an investment in our future, so I’m excited for them and excited that the building will get some more life.”

Last fall, the department told The Compass it would issue an expression of interest for the property, a National Historic Site. In 2016, National Trust for Canada included the building on a top-10 list for endangered sites in the country.

The owners of Republic of Newfoundland and Labrador Brewery Ltd. could not be reached for comment.

SEE RELATED:

'Church redevelopment could aid historic courthouse's future'

'Mixed feelings in Harbour Grace about former church's future'

'Harbour Grace mayor excited about new business coming to town'

'New owner needed for historic Harbour Grace courthouse'

'Harbour Grace courthouse makes top-10 list for endangered Canadian site'

editor@cbncompass.ca

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