Summerside seeking new 'vision' for historic train station

The City of Summerside is looking for buyers for the former CNR railway station on Water Street. But the city wants guarantees that any new owner puts historic landmark to an appropriate use.

City is seeking proposals from potential buyers

Murals on the exterior of the former CNR train station pay tribute to residents who worked on the railway in days gone by. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

A piece of Island history is up for sale, as the City of Summerside is looking for buyers for the former CNR train station on Water Street.

Mayor Bill Martin said the city also wants a guarantee that any new owner will the 90-year old landmark to an appropriate use.

"In my heart of hearts, I'd love to see the exterior of this building maintained," he said. "It's registered as a historic place."

Renovations required within 18 months

The city issued a request-for-proposals earlier this month as it seeks a buyer.

The RFP requires the successful bidder to enter into what the city calls a "development agreement" with the city.

It would require any new owner to begin renovations within 18 months of purchase.

Summerside Mayor Bill Martin would like to see the building's architectural features preserved. The building is now vacant, following the relocation of the Rotary Library that had been housed in the building for the past 20 years. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"City council will be looking long and hard at the proposals we receive, in terms of the long-term vision we have for the future of the city," said Martin.

For more than 20 years, the building housed the Rotary Library. The library moved to a new location last month.

City has had 'three or four' inquiries

The city has already had inquiries about the former train station from three or four interested buyers, according to the mayor.

Mayor Bill Martin would like to see the exterior of the building maintained. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

The property and building are being sold "as is," and anyone who is interested has until Feb. 17 to submit a proposal.

More than 150 properties in Summerside are registered historic places, according to city officials.

Fewer than 20 have been designated as historic properties. That designation places restrictions on alterations to the exterior of a building.