The Moncton Detention Centre in the city's downtown core is closed and heading to the real estate market, just as long as it won’t be turned into a parking lot.


The Moncton Detention Centre on Assumption Boulevard has been declared surplus by the Public Safety Department. (Kate Letterick/CBC)


The almost 40-year-old detention centre has been declared surplus by the Public Safety Department, but the province says its spot on Assumption Boulevard has already piqued the interest of some buyers.

The jail closed its doors this fall in favour of a larger, high-tech facility in Shediac. Now, the province is in the process of evaluating the property's worth.

"This is a prime location, it's a prime property and we hope that we will be able to get maximum value," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claude Williams.

He said, in the past, surplus buildings were offered to other departments, groups or even the municipality, but in an effort to generate revenue the province will put the building on the market.

"Right now it's costing us some money just as a vacant building so the faster we can put it on the market, the faster we can get a good price for the building the better it is for taxpayers," said Williams.

The minister said there will be one stipulation when the building goes to tender — it can't be made into a parking lot.

That's because the property would generate more tax dollars if it were made into a commercial or office building.

Williams said he’s already received some calls about buying the downtown spot.