The 15 acres of waterfront property best known as the Gateway site, has been sold to Tony Porco’s SIS Group for $200,000.
The sale is subject to a 45-day period of due diligence allowing for environmental studies and tests to be conducted to the satisfaction of the buyer. If the SIS Group is not satisfied with the findings within the 45-day period, the consortium can terminate the agreement.
Porco, a local businessman, owns land adjacent to his latest purchase and successfully developed the Machine Shop and Canal District.
Council hopes – maybe expects – Porco can do the same with his latest acquisition. It’s believed the new development will enhance tourism by complementing Canal District properties and providing more options for visitors to the Agawa Canyon Train Station and further activate the waterfront.
SIS plans to create an automotive museum, a deli and restaurant, event spaces and recreation activities and a butterfly museum. SIS Group has said up to 100 new jobs will be created in the retail sector. The Northern Policy Institute Economic Impact Calculator projects SIS Group’s investment will generate more
than $16.5 million of income in Algoma and 139 direct, indirect and induced full-year equivalent jobs.
The property – deemed surplus by the City in 2002 – has sat empty for several years, with a number of proposals designed to promote tourism brought forward that invariably fizzled out.
Ward 1 Councillor Sandra Hollingsworth, “based on what he has done in the past, I think this parcel is going to look very attractive.”
Proceeds from the sale are to be placed in a Gateway Property Reserve and committed to any future costs to the development of the property.