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Province issuing second request for proposals on vacant Summerside manor

['The former Summerset Manor property sits vacant in Summerside. ']
['The former Summerset Manor property sits vacant in Summerside. ']

The province is still unable to find anyone willing to take on an empty manor in Summerside but has stopped short of divesting itself of the building.

Instead, the province is now putting out another request for proposals (RFP) with hopes of finding a developer willing to create new seniors units on the property.

Family and Human Services Minister Tina Mundy provided an update on the now vacant Somerset manor during Tuesday's sitting of the legislature and said the RFP will be issued in the next couple weeks.

"(We're) looking for developers to show their expressed interest in developing 20 new seniors units on that property," said Mundy.

The issue was first brought up by Summerside-Wilmot MLA Chris Palmer, who asked if the province would deem the building surplus and move to have it decommissioned.

"The Somerset Manor in Summerside has been sitting idle since residents moved to the new manor. This vacant building was a significant issue for residents in the area during the last election in Summerside," said Palmer.

Mundy said finding a future for the manor was one of her first priorities when she took on her ministerial role.

She said all government departments were asked if they had any use for the building, but none were interested.

She said the next step would be reaching out to community groups to see if there was any interest in purchasing and redeveloping the building.

While a number of groups showed interest in an RFP issued by the province last fall, ultimately no one made a proposal.

"So we are now going internal to see what else we can do," said Mundy, who noted she had met with officials with the City of Summerside on Monday.

"We're looking forward to partnering with municipalities and with developers to create new affordable housing options and taking advantage of this great location."

Mitchell.macdonald@theguardian.pe.caTwitter.com/Mitch_PEI

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