Summerside city council is spending $900,000 to purchase and demolish buildings on four properties on the corner of Summer and Water streets in the city’s downtown core.
The four properties include 8 Summer St. (Former Cooke Insurance Building), 285 Water St. (Former Purple Parrott Building), 4 Summer St. (Former Crockets Jewelry Building) and 12 Summer St. (Former Regent Building).
“These key properties have been discussed and debated for well over four years,” said Deputy Mayor Norma McColeman in a news release, “… given the decaying condition of the properties being vacant in some cases dating back to 2012. Council felt something bold had to happen to support our growing downtown and investments in the core.”
Immediate plans for the block and surrounding infrastructure are still being developed, but council hopes the demolition will be completed during the 2021 construction season. Then council will look for redevelopment options for the property, including residentical and commercial uses.
McColeman said council felt no developer was going to take on this project, and letting the buildings continue to deteriorate was damaging the properties, the underlying infrastructure and negatively impacting neighbouring businesses.
“Today we have taken a major leadership step for our downtown and while this is not the city’s common practice to acquire properties outright,” McColeman said, “we felt there has been a huge void in the city in regards to addressing gaps in our city, supporting both our public and private sector investments in downtown and one of our goals has been to find a collaborative way to address significant issues in our community when it comes to our building stock.”