“SRDC continues to look at properties in Summerside,” Croken said. “Everything is on the table ... I guess, as we move forward. We’re still concentrating on the Holman Building. We’re not in a position to buy anything at this point, but we’re always looking at under-utilized properties and that’s our mandate.
There’s quite a number of them in Summerside so we’re always looking at options.” The SRDC has already taken over the parking lot that surrounds the Harbour Quay building.
“We’re leasing all of that parking now for the Holman centre and that’s meeting our needs,” Croken said. “We haven’t identified any need for parking beyond that at this point. There has been talk about a parkade but that’s a pretty major undertaking, and until such time as that there’s sufficient demand to warrant looking at something like that, I can’t see that in the foreseeable future.”
Harbour Quay is just one of several buildings in the downtown core that is not filled to capacity.
“There’s a fair bit of vacant space in that building,” Croken said. “There’s vacant space in the Smallman building. There’s vacant space in the Town Centre across from the Holman Building.” Croken notes, “It’s a problem but it’s also an opportunity that we’re trying to take advantage of to create more activity downtown.” He said the SRDC has a plan in place to breathe new life into downtown Summerside.
“It’s been an ongoing process for SRDC, after we purchased Holman’s,” he said. “We have a long-term plan in place ... that pretty much charts the course for us for the next five to seven years. So all of this is part of the parcel.
“How do we develop the downtown into a more vibrant centre and community? By taking advantage of the empty spaces there.” The overall goal of SRDC is to create the environment for good paying jobs that will bring young people back to the city.