Ottawa puts Hells Angels clubhouse up for sale
For sale by owner: Federal government.
Features: Iconic piece of Toronto history. Ultimate man cave. Needs lots of TLC or a teardown. Stains on floor most likely caused by leaky roof.
Eight years after Ottawa seized the biggest Hells Angels clubhouse in Canada, it is soon to put it up for sale. Its listing should appear on MLS within a couple of weeks.
The two-storey cement-block bunker on Eastern Ave., between Logan and Carlaw Aves., is ideal for those looking to shut out the world: It has two sets of steel front doors and windows barricaded with wire.
“It reminded me of a Legion Hall,” says Toronto realtor Desmond Brown, one of just a handful of agents who’ve been through the 2,500-square-foot property recently, trying to come up with a price and a marketing plan for Ottawa’s Seized Property Management Directorate.
“I thought it was a fantastic opportunity because it’s such a renowned building — people have been driving by it for decades, wondering what it looks like on the inside. I’m one of the few people who isn’t biker, who had a chance to see it.”
In March, 2007 Ottawa used its new proceeds from crime legislation to legally take over ownership of the property. Three weeks later, police raided the building, charging five Hells Angels members with drugs and weapons offences.
Curiosity seekers still stop by to check the place out and photograph the front door. The door is shielded from view by a cement-block wall, but still sports the Hells Angels logo.
The property sits on a 30-by-120-foot lot in highly sought-after Leslieville. The paint is peeling and the property overgrown with weeds. Members thought of it as their home away from home, stringing up Christmas lights, handing out Halloween candy and planting flowers in front-yard boxes.
It has been assessed for 2015 property tax purposes at $371,000. Although real estate prices in the area have been skyrocketing, that’s actually down from $383,000 in 2012.
Ottawa has done its own appraisal, but recently reached out to a number of Toronto realtors to get their views on how the property should be priced and marketed.
Realtors usually look at a handful of “comparables” — similar properties — to determine the best list price. That was impossible in this case, so Brown just looked at what’s sold in the area recently. He determined the clubhouse is worth about $700,000.
The big-screen TV where bikers used to watch sports over a beer from the well-stocked fridge is long gone. But there is a still a bar, a big meeting room and two bedrooms where members used to entertain visiting escorts.
There were just two rules at the clubhouse, apparently: No wives and no murders.