Sarnia has agreed to sell the land beneath the Bayside Mall for $1 million to Seasons Retirement Communities, which plans to invest $40 million in downtown commercial and residential development.
As part of the deal, 300 underground parking spaces will remain available to the public forever for paid parking.
The city is also keeping a 7,000-square-foot property on the corner of Vidal and George streets for a future transit terminal.
Seasons, which bought the mall in 2017, plans to demolish part of the building and erect a 12-story retirement home, open up a pedestrian walkway on Lochiel Street, and create new commercial and retail space.
The $1 million will be deposited in a reserve account.
If major parts of the project aren’t complete within 36 months the city can buy back the land for $850,000.