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Global Direct Realty sees move for new shelter as ‘blessing to the city’

Vicki Pantelopoulos, owner of Global Direct Realty Inc., admitted it was not easy having only 30 days notice to vacate her firm’s offices at 138 Fairford Street West, but said the city needs a homeless shelter and they are happy to be supporting it.
William Milne Place at 138 Fairford St. W, commonly known as the Old Firehall

Vicki Pantelopoulos, owner of Global Direct Realty, Inc., admitted it was not easy having only 30 days notice to vacate her firm’s offices at 138 Fairford Street West, but said the city needs a homeless shelter and they are happy to be supporting it.

“Global Direct Realty, Inc. and our agents are certainly strong supporters of our Moose Jaw community, and (we) understand that Moose Jaw needs to take care of its citizens,” Pantelopoulos stated in a March 29 press release.

“This new homeless warming centre is going to be open 24 hours a day, but it is also going to be an emergency overnight women’s shelter for the downtown core. How can we not support that and try to make it a seamless transaction? Our city needs that!”

Global Direct has offices in Regina and in Moose Jaw, where they have operated out of William Milne Place at 138 Fairford since 2013.

On April 1, Square One Community Inc. will take possession of Global Direct Realty’s former space with the intention of developing a warming space and a dedicated women’s shelter. Square One is a Moose Jaw non-profit dedicated to advocating for and supporting people in the city who do not have access to safe, reliable shelter.

Square One began a collaboration last October with the Moose Jaw Non-Profit Housing Corporation (MJNPHC) as part of its search for a suitable shelter location to develop.

MJNPHC has owned William Milne Place since 1990, when it signed a lease agreement with the City and created a men’s low-income housing project, taking ownership of the property shortly afterwards. A 2013 sub-lease with the municipality granted offices in the building to Global Direct.

During its regular meeting on Feb. 27, city council voted 5-2 to transfer their sub-lease with Global Direct to the MJNPHC, who subsequently dissolved the firm’s lease agreement with the contractually obligated notice of 30 days.

The decision was not uncontroversial, with councillors Heather Eby and Dawn Luhning voting in opposition. Eby worried about unforeseen leasing and/or taxing complications given the speed of the decision, while Luhning felt the 30-day notice was unfair to Global Direct.

Nevertheless, Pantelopoulos and her staff feel the situation is net positive overall.

Global Direct Realty’s new location is 150 – 361 Main Street North, in the City Square Mall.

“We are going to be operating our of our new office starting March 31, and we are excited,” said Tammie Hutchinson, manager of client services and admin with Global Direct. “We are all looking forward to having Global Direct Realty, Inc. in its new location while we help support the new warming shelter.

“Over the past 10 years, I can say (that) Global Direct Realty, Inc. has opened its doors offering warmth and a cup of warm coffee to get out (of) the cold to some of our most needing — we couldn’t even think about turning our heads from that.”

“I am not going to say it was easy having 30 days notice to vacate what (we) called home, and a place we loved for the past 10 years,” said Pantelopoulos, adding that William Milne Place is a beautiful building and they will miss it.

“With help and support from not only our Global family, suppliers, and clients, but other real estate co-workers, they all helped us find a great new place to set up shop,” she continued. “We look at it as a blessing to the city and us.”

Pantelopoulos said that while she and her team can work virtually, it is nice to have a space for clients and agents to get together.

“We look forward to the continued support of Moose Jaw, our community, and our clients to allow Global Direct Realty, Inc. to make your next move the best move.”

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