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Waterfront land acquired by City of Summerside will remain empty for now

Summerside’s Holman Building houses various established businesses, start-ups and the provincial Department of Education. It is one of various assets owned by the Summerside Regional Development Corporation which will likely be liquidated once the province completes its takeover of the corporation.
Summerside’s Holman Building is one of various assets owned by the Summerside Regional Development Corporation that will likely be liquidated now that the province has completed its takeover of the corporation. - Colin MacLean

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - The City of Summerside has no immediate plans for its new piece of waterfront property.

The city recently acquired 565 Water St., which is an eight-acre empty lot across from Green’s Shore, as part of the provincial buyout of the Summerside Regional Develop Corporation’s (SRDC) assets.

Summerside Mayor Bill Martin said that when the opportunity came up to acquire that property, it was a “no-brainer” to do so. The land was valued by the province at $166,000.

“It’s a prime piece of land … close to the water, that has immense potential,” said Martin.

That being said, the mayor added that the city has no plans yet for the property and would not necessarily be moving to issue an official request for proposals anytime soon.

However, he said the municipality is always willing to listen to ideas for potential development.

 “Would we entertain options? Absolutely. We’re open for business.”

Related: P.E.I. government completes acquisition of SRDC shares

The land, which is colloquially sometimes referred to as ‘Hippenstall’s Corner’ has been unused for a number of years, other than occasionally serving as a parking lot for events at Green’s Shore.

Both the city and the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce were given the option to take land as part of the province’s SRDC share buyout offer in October, 2017. All three parties were shareholders in the corporation, but the province was looking to consolidate its majority ownership. Only the city opted to take property as part of its deal. 

A few months earlier, in July, the SRDC had asked the city to rezone the property in question to a designation that would allow higher density residential development. A potential buyer was interested but only if the land was rezoned first.

Council ultimately turned down the request because they found it too speculative.

Councillors wanted to know exactly what the land would be used for.

At that time, SRDC management said while buyer interest in the property had been negligible for some time, that had started to change in 2017 and there were a handful of parties expressing interest in potentially developing it.

Property in a nutshell:

  • 565 Water St., Summerside
  • Eight-acre vacant near waterfront lot
  • Acquired by City of Summerside from SRDC and provincial government
  • Land value deemed by province to be $166,000
  • City has no plans yet for land

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