The Royal Connaught hotel may finally see an end to a nine-year saga as its owners discuss the idea of converting the building into a condo development.

What was once a pillar of grandeur and growth in the downtown core, the 97-year-old building has been closed since 2004 due to financial issues. Since then, it has sat vacant and changed hands among different owners.

Now, the city's planning and economic development department confirms that the owners — Rudi Spallacci and Ted Valeri — have been in "very high level conversations" with the city over the possibility of converting the Connaught into condos.

"Sometimes we have these discussions before the formal consultation and before submitting site plans," Debbie Spence, communications officer for the planning department, said.

"From there, we would place steps to follow — part of that would be applying for a building permit — so it would still be a way off."

The fate of the Connaught has been a point of concern for many Hamiltonians. Both the preservation of the historical landmark and the impact of an empty building the downtown core have left many wondering what the future will hold for the hotel. If the formal process continues, they may soon have their answer.