Brooke-Alvinston has sold the Lorne Street Apartments.
The municipality was concerned it would be some time before it saw the nearly $300,000 of outstanding taxes and water bills after it seized the building for a tax sale.
The three buildings with 18 apartments, which was full of tenants a decade ago fell into disrepair over the past few years with a litany of problems including black mould, trashed apartments and water leaks.
The landlord didn’t make repairs and one of the buildings was closed for building code violations.
For the past five years, the municipality has been working to put the building up for tax sale and it was getting to the final stages.
In May, the TD Bank which held the mortgage on the troubled complex, tried to stop the tax sale in court. That bid failes.
Mayor Don McGugan says the judge sided with the municipality and allowed the sale to go ahead and the tenders were opened.
McGugan says Brooke-Alvinston received three offers for the building and have accepted the highest bid of $367,000. That, he says, will cover the cost of the back taxes, the $16,000 in legal fees to conduct the tax sale and give the bank some money to cover the defaulted mortgage.
McGugan has already talked to the new owner. “He’s a property manager from Richmond Hill and he owns a lot of property in London,” he says. “He says he’d like to involve local business people with the restorations…I told him I could find local people for everything.”
The mayor says he was surprised by the interest in the tax sale but it is a “big relief” to have a new owner for the building. “That’s a lot of money for a small municipality.
“It’s a win-win.”