After languishing badly under its past two owners, Sault Ste. Marie's downtown landmark Windsor Park Hotel will make a fresh start this week under a new proprietor.
Local landlord Paul Finck will take possession on Thursday of the nine-storey, 65-room hotel and its adjoining two-storey retail/office building.
For many years, the 1.4-acre property stretching from 617 Queen St. East to Bay St. was proud home to the Sault's tallest building.
Purchase price was not disclosed but asking price was just under $1 million.
Listing agent was John Filipetti of Re/Max Sault Ste. Marie Realty Inc.
Frank Nacarrato of Century 21 Choice Realty Inc. represented the buyer.
Finck owns a number of residential properties around the Sault, but is best known for creating the affordable 42-unit Midtown Residential apartment complex out of the former Norwest Motel behind the Indian Friendship Centre at 40 Hynes St.
The Windsor Park was offered "as is" in late March under power of sale – a legal process used in cases of mortgage default.
The hotel first opened in 1895.
An addition was constructed in 1919 and the nine-storey high-rise went up in 1931.
In 1996, Dr. Lou Lukenda bought the building and re-opened it as Windsor Park Retirement Residence.
Lukenda then donated the property to Algoma University, which began using it as a student residence in 2010.
In 2015, the building was sold for $825,000 to Toronto-based Yau Developments for use again as an upscale retirement residence.
The following year, it was flipped to a private-investment group planning a student residence to serve a private, athletics-focused school based at The Tech in the former St. Marys College on Wellington Street East.
Over the past winter, the hotel high-rise was essentially abandoned, with Sault Fire Services called out numerous times because of burst water pipes.
Aside from a few sprinkler heads, the rooms are actually "in pretty good shape," Finck says.
His early plans call for a lodging-and-meals arrangement, offering studio units and one-bedroom apartments, with food service provided in the hotel kitchen and banquet hall.
He also expects to make use of the hotel's former exercise area.
"I don't know what happened with the previous two owners, but I'll make this happen and I'll do it right," he tells SooToday.
He's borrowed money to restore the building to its former glory and expects to have it operational this year, starting with the upper floors.
There's a penthouse on the top floor of the Windsor Park, Finck says.
"I'm a hands-on landlord. I'll be living in the penthouse."
Prospective tenants may contact Finck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-542-4566.