Holman Homestead in Summerside close to sale

Nancy MacPhee nmacphee@journalpioneer.com
Published on January 8, 2016

SUMMERSIDE - Ken Meister has big plans for the Holman Homestead.

And he hopes he has the chance to see those plans come to light.

Meister, who owns and operates the Summerside Inn Bed and Breakfast, has put in an offer on the Holman property.

“Right now, it is just the conditions based on financing and also being able to see that we can work with the restrictive conveyance that is in place with the (P.E.I.) Museum and Heritage Foundation,” he said on Thursday.

A demolition permit was approved in early December by the city to tear down the historic property, situated at 286 Fitzroy St. in Summerside.

Kay Rogers, its owner, explained Thursday that she rescinded the permit after the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation got involved, with a plan to enforce restrictions in place surrounding what could be done with the property.

RELATED: Demolition permit issued for Holman Homestead in Summerside

RELATED: Demolition permit rescinded for Holman Homestead in Summerside

She said since news of its possible demolition was made public, two parties besides Meister expressed interest in the property.

“It is a fabulous piece of property in a beautiful location. There should have been an uproar,” added Rogers. “There is no such thing as bad advertisement when it comes to that. We didn’t really want to do this but we did have somebody contact us from Truro, N.S., who was interested in the demolishing of it. I was happy to tell them I hoped I had a sale on it.”

Meister hopes to convert the main floor of the Holman property into “a vintage novelty general store... with an old-fashioned ice cream parlour and soda shop.”

“We hope to be able to have some museum space for the city on that floor,” he said, adding there are restrictions in place for the property’s use. “The second floor, we hope to have three one-bedroom executive business suites for rentals.”

The more than 4,000-square-foot house, which sits on a half acre in the heart of the city, and its Victoria garden once belonged to Summerside businessman R.T. Holman and had been originally built as a Catholic parsonage in 1854.

Most recently, it was the former home of Homestead Antiques and Gifts, which relocated in 2013 leaving the property vacant since.

Meister first looked at the property when it went up for sale two years ago.

“We absolutely love the property. We have been devastated to see the gardens in a state of disrepair,” he said Thursday. “As soon as the talk of demolition went on, we got a call... trying to convince us to resurrect our prior interest in the property.”

He feels his plans for the property fit well with the city’s historic district and his current business, also a historic property.

Rogers expects the deal to be finalized by Feb. 1.

Neither she nor Meister would disclose the sale price.