The City of Summerside confirmed in a press release sent out Saturday that it issued a city permit on Nov. 19, 2012, for the demolition of all interior building systems and finishes located at 298 MacKenzie Dr. in the western end of the city.
Through a statement with the City of Summerside, Sean Liu, owner of the 50 acres of land located at 298 MacKenzie Dr. and future site of the Prince Alex Resort and Convention Centre, also confirmed that he has recently engaged the services of the local development firm, Fitzgerald and Snow, to carry out work under this permit.
"I am very encouraged to see that work is progressing on Mr. Liu's property and feel confident that this project will make significant contributions to Summerside's future economic development,” said Mayor Basil Stewart. “We look forward to working collaboratively with Mr. Liu as this project evolves.”
Liu said he feels Summerside is a good place to do business.
“I feel the investment climate and the openness of the City of Summerside is conducive to proceeding with the next phase of our long-term plans for our significant holdings in Summerside”, said Liu. "Summerside’s economic conditions, opportunities and business climate are, in my opinion, at a stage where I feel I am ready to move forward to the next stage in my plans.”
A release from the city said that further announcements will be made at appropriate times as Liu moves further along in his development plans.
He purchased the spa property for just over $2 million in 2005. At that time, the new owner said he would commit a further $7.5 million for the first phase of development.
No work has been done at the site to date.
Since its construction began in 1991, the $5-million Dynasty Spa has had a troubled history, changing hands several times before being auctioned off in 1994 to PO Investments of Toronto.
It was initially backed by investors from Hong Kong and funded through the Immigrant Investor Program with 30 Hong Kong investors each put $150,000 into the project.
But only a few months short of its June 1992 opening date, construction stopped. Two years later the Supreme Court of P.E.I. court ordered that the property be auctioned off and creditors be paid, which happened in 1994.
An RCMP investigation followed, with the spa’s financial operations put under the microscope. Years later, in 1999, two of the directors were found guilty of conspiring to defraud creditors of P.E.I. Resort Inc.
It was in 1996 that New York developer George Diercks bought the property, building a piece onto the original structure but never finishing the facility.