Province looks to develop former Summerset Manor site — again

The province is again looking for a private developer who would be willing to take over the property the former Summerset Manor in Summerside, P.E.I., sits on.

Province wants building replaced with subsidized housing for seniors

The former Summerset Manor was closed and decommissioned by the province in 2012. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The province is again looking for a private developer who would be willing to take over the property the former Summerset Manor in Summerside, P.E.I., sits on.

For the second time, the province — which owns the 1.1-hectare property — has tendered a request for proposals (RFP) for parties interested in developing the property.

When it issued an RFP before, the province did not receive any formal responses.

Representatives from the city met with the province to discuss the future of the property and what could be developed on it.

"In the coming weeks, requests for proposals will be issued for interested developers to create 20 units of seniors housing in the Summerside area," said P.E.I.'s Minister of Family and Human Services Tina Mundy.

"The redevelopment of the previous Summerset Manor will be included in this RFP. At this point, we don't know what the response will be, of course."

At this point, Tina Mundy, P.E.I.'s minister of family and human services, said the province doesn't know what the response will be for an RFP to build housing units for seniors on land the old Summerset Manor sits on. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

There was one thing both sides agreed on: the building will be torn down.

Provincial housing strategy

Summerside Mayor Bill Martin said the property has become a safety concern.

"Any time you have a building in the centre of your city that's deteriorated to the point that it no longer can be repurposed, you know you run the risk of things happening ... We need it taken down," Martin said.

"It's a big building and parts of it are removed from the public eye and bad things can happen in situations like that."

Summerside Mayor Bill Martin said he would be very disappointed if by this time next year that not only is the building torn down, but that something on a portion of the property hasn't replaced it. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The meeting also included a discussion about how the city and province can collaborate on affordable housing options and on the provincial housing strategy.   

"Government will look at all possible ways to collaborate with municipalities, private developers, community-building organizations and communities on long-term solutions to growing housing demands," Mundy said.

'Needs to be demolished'

The city said it would like to see a portion of the land used for a new fire hall.

"There's no doubt that something's going to be done with that building and it needs to be demolished," Martin said.

"It's coming down."