Sundridge council is eyeing a property on Main Street next to the post office with the intent of demolishing the home and replacing it with a series of retail stores on the ground floor and apartments on the second floor.
Coun. Steve Hicks proposed the motion with the goal of “optimizing Main Street a little more in order that more people visit and spend their money.”
Hicks said if the multi-use building ever came to be, the municipality, if it wanted, could sell or outsource it.
He said the replacement doesn't have to be fancy, rather it needs to be functional.
With engineered wood products available today, Hicks said the replacement building could go up quickly.
He adds the building would be environmentally sound, attractive and serve as an anchor to the downtown.
The property, at 98 Main St., has a large backyard, meaning the land could support a relatively big structure with plenty of parking.
Hicks told his council colleagues the house has been for sale for quite a while.
However, what may stall the acquisition in the short term is the 'For Sale' sign that must come down, and Mayor Lyle Hall knows why.
Hall told council that through his discussions with the real estate agent, several issues were identified with the building.
“So it's off the market at this point,” Hall said.
However, that wasn't a deterrent for Deputy Mayor Shawn Jackson, since regardless of what the issues may be, the municipality's goal is to replace what sits there now.
Jackson likes the location, saying it's very desirable.
As council waits to see what develops with the home, Hall said in the meantime the village can explore other property acquisitions.
He said there are other properties up for sale that may be worthwhile.
Consequently, as council waits to see what develops with the Main Street property, staff will put together a list of other properties that may be purchased.
Staff's list will take council full circle to a debate it had earlier this year about buying an existing building and turning it into what Powassan has at 250 Clark, which is considered a hub of public activity in the community.
Back in February, Coun. Barbara Belrose pushed for Sundridge to develop its own 250 Clark.
Her suggestion was to look at acquiring the former Anderson Lumber building, which has sat empty for some time.
250 Clark in Powassan houses a fitness centre, gymnasium, meeting rooms, a place for the local food bank and a second-hand clothing store.
It's also home to the town council chambers and is designed to accommodate various workshops, as well as cooking and dance classes.
Belrose's vision would transform the Anderson building into a structure that could support the local library and animal rescue, in addition to accommodating weddings and showers.
The building is large and Belrose added there is enough space for seniors' meeting rooms and the local chamber of commerce to locate there.
When Belrose first suggested looking into buying the Anderson building, the debate never got beyond the discussion stage.
But now, as staff prepares a list of buildings available for purchase, the Anderson building may make the cut.
There was no timeline for staff to get back to council with a property acquisition list.
Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget