VIDEO: Historic Windsor Jail Sold to Local Buyer

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens has met with the new buyers of the Windsor Jail.

Infrastructure Ontario says the building has been sold 'as is' at a cost of $150,000 through an open and competitive process.

The new buyers haven't been made public, nor what their plans are for the nearly 100 year old building on Brock St but AM800 News has learned the buyer is local.

Dilkens says the new buyers have presented a 'few different ideas' but details still need to be worked out.

"I think they really need some time to fully understand what the impact of their ideas are," he says.

Regardless, Dilkens says given the age and state of the building, a lot of money will be needed to upgrade and maintain it.

When the city was looking at purchasing the building, the conservative estimate was about $20-million.

"That is a building that one would consider to be the thread in the sweater that when  you start something, you don't know exactly where it ends," says Dilkens.

Dilkens says the city will need to work with the new buyers on the use of the parking lot that services MacKenzie Hall, which is part of the jail property that was purchased.

The jail is a heritage structure and Dilkens says his worst fear is that the new buyers won't find the money to maintain the building and it will be left in a state of disrepair.

Meanwhile, Ward 2 City Councillor Fabio Costante wants to know who the buyer is and what their intentions are for the property.

He says there are three parcels that are apart of the deal.

"The parking lot, the registry and the jail itself," says Costante.  "The parking lot is extremely important to MacKenzie Hall and so how that gets negotiated with the city is going to be priority and then what they decide to do with the registry and the jail, I'm hopeful that they're going to consult with the community."    

AM800-NEWS-Windsor-Jail

Windsor Jail at 378 Brock St in Windsor (Photo courtesy of www.commerciallistings.cbre.ca)

He feels it's important for the buyer to reach out to the community.

"Now is a great opportunity to get the community involved and determine what they like to see and how we can work with these successful bidders," says Costante.  

The Infrastructure Ontario release states the sale "clears the way for potential new uses for the property" while the provincial government "avoids significant costs associated with annual maintenance and operating expenses."

The jail hit the real estate market in October of last year.

The building on Brock St. was built in the 1920's and was closed in 2014 after the South West Detention Centre opened.

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi and Teresinha Medeiros