County buys Lambton Shared Services building for $17.2 million

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Lambton County is now the owner of the Lambton Shared Services building in downtown Sarnia.

The county finalized the $17.6 million deal June 3.

Lambton County councillors put aside over $8 million in reserves this year for the project, the rest will be funded by a loan which county council approved last month.

“The purchase will reduce expenditures by eliminating our rent payments for the space, and also give us the flexibility to use the space in ways that will most benefit the community,” said Lambton County Warden Kevin Marriott in a news release.

The building was originally part of the Bayview Mall and built for the Hudsons Bay company. Over the years, the mall faltered and the county agreed to become an anchor tenant bringing other government services into the mall for a number of social services. At one time municipal, provincial and federal services could all be found at the building.

The county had a 20-year lease the 57,000 square foot building . It was also extensively renovated between 2020 and 2022, to the tune of $20 million as part of that agreement. The county also began planning for the eventual purchase of the building.

The building houses several departments from the County of Lambton including Homelessness Prevention & Children’s Services, Court Services, Housing Services, Ontario Works, and some program areas from Lambton Public Health. The centre is also home to the local branch of the Ontario Disability Support Program, the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services,