After sitting vacant for more than two years, a former seniors home and Catholic school built in the early 1900s will be auctioned off in Moncton on May 29.

A public notice says the property, which sits at 271 Mountain Road, will be sold at public auction at Moncton City Hall.

The 105-year-old Gothic Revival castle was purchased last June by Mathieu Fournier, a Moncton developer, who wouldn't say at that time what his plans were for the building.

At the same time, a Toronto real estate investor expressed interest in the castle. Sarosh Anwar had been trying to raise $5 million to turn it into a boutique hotel.

Moncton Coun. Paulette Theriault, who is also the liasion for the Heritage Preservation Review Board, said she is dismayed by the news the designated heritage property will change hands again.

"Whoever purchases the building can essentially do whatever they want with the building. They can demolish it, they can create another parking lot for the city," she said. 

Moncton at risk of becoming "city without a soul"

Theriault said the thought of Castle Manor being turned into another parking lot is disturbing because Moncton has so few heritage properties left.

"We all know when we travel anywhere in the world, we visit because we want to discover the history, where we come from, what the city is about and what the culture is and what was there before," she said.

"So unfortunately if we were to lose this building, I think, we would lose a lot for the city of Moncton."

Theriault said she is also concerned about the potential loss of other heritage properties in the city including the Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption Cathedral and Moncton High School.

She said developers must be found who are willing to work with citizens to revitalize the properties so they are not demolished after years of neglect.

"It's another page of our story if we lose this," she said.

"We've lost so many that really Moncton is becoming a city without a soul."

The mortgage sale notice says if a sufficient offer of purchase is not received at the public auction, the Castle Manor property could be withdrawn and disposed of by private contract without further notice.

The sale could also be postponed.