Future of old Summerset Manor still uncertain

Colin MacLean colin.maclean@tc.tc
Published on January 9, 2014
The former Summerset Manor property in Summerside sits vacant. 

SUMMERSIDE ­– The former Summerset Manor property continues to inch its way through the process of being declared surplus by the province.

It’s been a little more than nine months since the old manor, located off Granville Street in Summerside, was shut down and its residents moved to a new facility on Frank Mellish Drive.

The old manor is owned by the Department of Community Services and Seniors but it is the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) that’s responsible for deciding what to do with the surplus government buildings.  

Alan Maynard, director of public works and planning for TIR, said Wednesday that dealing with these old buildings can be a lengthy proposition.

“Because there’s an amount of process to it, it’s always hard to say,” he said.

The property is currently up for grabs by other provincial government departments who might have a use for it.

Maynard said the Department of Community Services and Seniors had initially expressed some interest in keeping the manor and finding an alternate use for it, however, it has recently stepped back from that idea.

If no other government body comes forward soon, the divestiture process will be opened up to community groups and local municipal government.

If that happens, the province would issue a call for proposals and everyone would have a set amount of time to submit their ideas to premier’s executive council, which has the final say on what happens to the property.

If no suitable proposals are found the manor would be put up for sale.

Maynard said he’s hopeful that a final decision on the manor’s fate will be made by sometime this spring.

Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart said city council has taken a keen interest in the fate of the property.

Stewart said council has learned to be gun shy when it comes to vacant provincial buildings.

After watching the old government garage on Pope Road and Holland College on Granville Street languish for years the city is understandably concerned about the future of the old manor, he said.

“We’re trying to keep a head of the game on this one,” said Stewart.

“But we look forward to working with the province and whatever redevelopment they plan for it – or whatever they have planned for it,” he added.

When asked if the city had any designs on buying or taking over the property, if the opportunity arose, Stewart indicated that possibility hadn’t been discussed by council yet.