"In July of that year (2007), we were contacted by a company that was operating out of the Waterfront Mall, CareStream Health...and they were desperately looking for another space in Summerside," said Croken. "So in the early stages of construction we modified the ground floor as temporary accommodations to move that company in while we were still under construction."
So the e-health company, literally getting in on the ground floor of the project, became the Holman Building's first major tenant. The next year, the SRDC further solidified the building's status as the downtown core's primary office space when the Province decided to relocate its Education Department from Charlottetown to Summerside. Construction crews finished work on a third-floor office space for CareStream Health, and the government department took over the first floor. Those first two tenants drove the building's renewal. The Holman Building now houses a total of 275 employees, and is at just over 60 per cent capacity. Although one of the two original tenants is now mostly gone from the building, Croken said the SRDC is focused on attracting more businesses from the e-health IT sector.
"That continues to be the focus to this day. We lost CareStream to an internal change in that corporation that had nothing to do with the Summerside operation. In the meantime, there's been a number of other smaller companies that we've secured for the future," he said. "We're probably a little behind where we thought we'd be...but really (the building) has only been completed as of six months ago. It's probably slower than we had hoped for, but we're moving in the right direction." Croken hopes the Holman Building will be close to 85 per cent occupancy within the next year and a half.
"That will help us to expand activity beyond Holman's to other parts of the city for further growth," he said. "The whole purpose behind this project was to create opportunities in Summerside...and we'll continue to focus on bringing these jobs and these companies to Summerside."
The Holman Building at a glance