Building housed the P.E.I. Bag Company for years
© Ryan Quigley/Journal Pioneer
Rogers Wells outside the former P.E.I. Bag Company building on Water. St., Summerside.
SUMMERSIDE – One of Summerside’s most familiar buildings on the waterfront is up for sale.
The former P.E.I. Bag Company building is on the market.
Owner Roger Wells said plans to transform the building into a storage facility for antique cars were dropped after the city filed charges against him for non-compliance with municipal bylaws.
“I’ve had it for a little while now,” Wells said. “We were very fortunate. We knew there was a need for antique car storage, but obviously, when I got into it with the city they seemed to think it wasn’t strong enough for what I wanted to do.The only way for me to prove that was to get drawings done. It was so expensive to get the drawings done for the building that it just didn’t make sense.”
Wells said the average car weighs about 3,500 pounds. He said there was a piece of machinery located on the second floor of the building taking up the same footprint as a car that weighed 30,000 pounds.
“I didn’t need drawings to tell me that it would support the strength of it,” he said.
Although the building has been on the waterfront since 1871 it is not listed as a heritage property.
“But it has an historic claim to it,” Wells said. “Parts of it have the history because of the World War One veterans who actually stayed there. So, there are parts of it that have an historic claim but it doesn’t follow the historic rules. There’s vinyl siding on it versus the wood that would normally be on it.”
“Part of me was going to tear it down and start from scratch but it is such a beautiful and strong building, I didn’t want to do that,” he said.
He said shipbuilder, John Lefurgey, built and launched ships from that building during the city’s shipbuilding heyday.
Wells hasn’t given up on his plan for an antique car storage facility.
“I’m looking at a one-level building to do the same thing,” Wells said.
Wells did not go into detail about where the building is but did say it is in the downtown area.