Mayoral candidates Michael Fougere and Sandra Masters say they are against turning a prominent heritage property in Regina into condo units.

The home, called the Cook Residence and located at 3160 Albert Street, has been subject to debate over the last year as the homeowners have looked to turn it into multiple units.

Fougere said on Wednesday that he’s heard concerns about the proposal.  

“Before and during the campaign, I’d heard widespread criticism of the proposal to turn the Cook Residence into condos and I feel the need to speak out,” he said in a news release. “The proposal does not fit the historic feel and character of the neighbourhood.” 

He said the home should remain as a heritage property as it does today.

Masters said the project should have never gotten to this point and charged Fougere’s “lack of leadership” created this divisive situation.

“Michael Fougere should have stepped in and provided the necessary leadership when it became clear this was going to be a problem,” Masters said in a news release. “The Official Community Plan states that individual neighbourhood plans are necessary, yet we don’t have them. We cannot continue to deal with one-offs in Regina.”

Masters said the city doesn’t manage heritage properties well. She said this issue should have been dealt with early on with clear guidelines and processes.

“Specific to this issue with heritage so important to the community, we need to identify the true heritage assets and figure out a way to ensure they are safeguarded and do not fall into disrepair,” she said.

Masters said she supports the home being preserved as a heritage building. 

The proposal aims to keep some heritage characteristics, though many neighbours aren’t happy with the plans.

A draft proposal of what the condo units would look like. (City of Regina documents)

Carmen Lien, the owner of the home, has previously told city council the home can’t be rehabilitated in a financially responsible manner.

Lien recently told CTV News that creating the condo units would help create construction jobs and result in more people paying property taxes.