The city is taking ownership of land where the now-abandoned Kingsway Hotel sits. Opened in the early 1960s, the once-popular spot was where performers such as Michelle Wright got their start. More recently, it was home to a series of failed bars and restaurants, and was ordered closed and the tenants evacuated in 2009 when the owner failed to pay the hydro bill.
It's been a crumbling eyesore ever since and with the property tax arrears exceeding $200,000, the city decided to “vest” it – take over ownership – and tear down the building.
After city council approved the move Sept. 10, Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk told reporters she was pleased a longstanding eyesore was being dealt with.
“We have a great image of our city, but some buildings have gone what I call derelict,” Matichuk said. “They don't give a great first impression, especially for people first coming into the city.”
The city has tried to sell the property for a few years, without success. Not only is there the crumbling hotel on the property, but it also used to have pumps from a former gas station.
“So you're looking at an environmental assessment and all the other stuff,” Matichuk said, explaining why no one expressed an interest in buying the property. “We've looked at it over the past couple of years and did everything we possibly could to collect the taxes and the whole bit.
“And really? Who's going to buy that building? It's not the most attractive thing.”
An environmental assessment has already been completed, the mayor said, and the city should be able to sell the remediated soil to cover the cost of demolishing the old hotel. Once the land is sold, the city could come out ahead, Matichuk said.
“Sometimes you have to say, you know what? We could probably sell this if we were to demolish the whole thing and sell the property,” she said. “We'll actually make a profit on this, if we can sell it at a decent price.”