The Paul Martin Building, located on Oullette Avenue in downtown Windsor, will be transformed into a boutique hotel.
RJM Holdings, the owner of Retro Suites in Chatham, will undertake the project to revitalize the 93-year-old building.
"We intend to keep as much of the historical elements as possible, adding in your neon signs or crazy modern art but definitely keeping the historical elements of the building," said Jessica Myers with RJM Holdings.
As part of the plan, the hotel will feature 80-100 unique hotel suites, along with an in-house restaurant, meeting and event space and other amenities.
The Paul Martin building was once used by the federal government for Canada Post, the Canada Revenue Agency, and the Canadian Border Services Agency. In 2015, the federal government sold the building to the municipality for $1.
The building will be transferred to the RM Group of Companies for $1. There are provisions in the contract that it will be transferred back to the city should certain criteria not be met.
“Today marks a significant milestone in the rich history of the Paul Martin Building, and a major step forward for downtown Windsor. This is the start of a transformative journey to create a boutique hotel, located downtown and steps away from our incredible waterfront," said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. "The investment they’re making, and the work they’ll be putting into our downtown revitalization vision is significant. This exciting venture not only preserves the architectural legacy of the Paul Martin Building but also contributes to the ongoing renaissance of our community."
The first phase of the project could be completed by 2026.
The City of Windsor has been given up to five years to move the central branch of the Windsor Public Library out of the facility. A new location has not been identified yet.
This will be the 8th hotel in downtown Windsor bringing the number of rooms available up to around 1,900.
"Having another accommodation option that is unique, it's a boutique hotel unlike anything we have in the area, provides our visitors with another option to choose from and more importantly helps meet the demand for peak occupancy periods," said Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island.