The city plans to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to have the derelict building on Granville Street repurposed and redeveloped.
The resolution was carried during Summerside council's monthly meeting at City Hall on July 20. The building, which has housed Holland College, Centennial Pool and Athena School over the years, has been sitting vacant on a 14-acre property for more than a decade.
Coun. Brian McFeely, chairman of economic development, said council would sign the MOU with the property's owner, APM Group. Discussions with the company have been excellent, and the document's purpose is to outline council's expectations for what APM will do with the property.
"It's kind of the first step in the process to see some positive things happen to that site," he said.
Council resolved to move ahead with signing. The nature of the project wasn't specified as the MOU hasn't been signed yet, but it has "big potential" for the northern end of the city – the likes of which McFeely has never seen in Summerside before, he said.
"These things don't happen overnight," he said. "(But) I think it's an exciting project if we can pull it all together."
The property is currently fenced off, which hasn't stopped the building from being vandalized or someone from starting a fire inside it last summer. Council had tabled a motion to enact the city's dangerous, hazardous and unsightly premises bylaw in May, which was tabled again in June due to unfinished discussions with APM.
Coun. Cory Snow, who originally put this motion forward, requested it remained tabled for now.
"Until such time we are entered into that MOU."
His request was approved, with Snow noting he's glad to see these plans moving ahead and an agreement being made that is acceptable by council's standards.
"I hope that we can get it over the finish line," he said.
Daniel Brown is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government.