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New waterfront property acquired by City of Summerside will remain empty for now

565 Water Street in Summerside
565 Water Street in Summerside

The City of Summerside has no immediate plans for its new piece of waterfront property.

The city recently acquired 565 Water Street, which is an eight acre empty lot across from Green’s Shore, as part of the provincial buyout of the Summerside Regional Develop Corporation’s (SRDC) assets.

Summerside Mayor Bill Martin said that when the opportunity came up to acquire that property it was a “no-brainer” to do so. The land was valued by the province at $166,000.

“It’s a prime piece of land … close to the water, that has immense potential,” said Martin.

That being said, the mayor added that the city has no plans yet for the property and would not necessarily be moving to issue an official request for proposals anytime soon.

However, he also said the municipality is always willing to listen to ideas for potential development.

 “Would we entertain options? Absolutely. We’re open for business.”

The land, which is colloquially sometimes referred to as ‘Hippenstall’s Corner’ has been unused for a number of years, other than occasionally serving as a parking lot for events at Green’s Shore.

Both the city and the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce were given the option to take land as part of the province’s SRDC share buyout offer in October, 2017. All three parties were shareholders in the corporation, but the province was looking to consolidate its majority ownership. Only the city opted to take property as part of its deal. 

A few months earlier, in July, the SRDC had asked the city to rezone the property in question to a designation that would allow higher density residential development. A potential buyer was interested, but only if the land was rezoned first.

Council ultimately turned down the request because they found it too speculative.

Councillors wanted to know exactly what the land would be used for.

At that time, SRDC management said while buyer interest in the property had been negligible for some time, that had started to change in 2017 and there were a handful of parties expressing interest in potentially developing it.

Colin.MacLean@JournalPioneer.com

@JournalPMacLean

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