Former Windsor Public Library downtown site up for lease
Three levels are up for grabs, after being handed over to a developer on Feb. 28
The Ouellette Avenue building that previously housed the Windsor Public Library's (WPL) Central branch is formally up for lease, commanding three separate prices for each of the space's three levels.
Anyone looking to scoop us the first floor of 850 Ouellette Ave. E. will need to pay $20 per square foot. The building's second floor costs $15 per square foot, while the lower level rings in at $8 per square foot.
According to a Royal LePage listing, the building is available for office, medical and commercial use.
"Layout is very open and modern. Building is ready for many uses with an elevator and escalator to each floor. Beautiful high ceilings. Small freight elevator along with a loading dock for each floor availability," reads an excerpt from the listing.
The WPL moved out of the 850 Ouellette Ave. space on Feb. 2, establishing a new temporary Central Branch in the Paul Martin Building on Feb. 3.
Windsor's Downtown Mission was set to move into the former Central Branch location, but the deal fell through because the organization wasn't able to secure a mortgage.
In February, Executive director Ron Dunn told CBC News that a funding deficit over a two-year period was the issue, adding that the location has been sold to a new developer.
On Wednesday, Ward 3 Coun. Rino Bortolin said it's not surprising to see the space up for lease, since the building belongs to a private individual and "we knew that he or she had to act in one way or another."
"I think putting it up for lease is probably just an effort to put your toe in the water and test the waters to see if it's actually going to be leased out," Bortolin said.
Bortolin added that he doesn't know the identity of the person who owns 850 Ouellette Ave., explaining that the city worked with a numbered company when working out the sale.
"I have never met [them], I have not talked to [them], never had a conversation about what [they have] planned for the space," Bortolin said.
Bortolin was among the voices who expressed disappointment with the space falling into private hands.
"I don't think it was a good situation in the way that everything went down," he told CBC News on Wednesday. "I do think it would have been a gesture of goodwill for the Downtown Mission to come back to us and let them out of that deal and return their deposit,"
"But at this point, we have to work with a new owner, and hopefully we can still get some good investment, good development there."
The Windsor city councillor said it would be ideal if the building's new owner is able to "lure some office space and some new tech companies" to rent space in the building.
"There's a lot of activity going on in that area," he said. "It could be a very big positive for the area."
With files from Dale Molnar