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Algoma Central sells downtown Sault office tower for $4.4 million

Bought by group of local investors. Building improvements planned

Algoma Central Corp. has sold its six-storey Station Tower at 421 Bay St. in Sault Ste. Marie for $4.4 million.

The landmark 61,000-square-foot professional and commercial building next to Station Mall has been purchased by a group of local investors.

The deal closed Sept. 25.

The sale by the St. Catharines-headquartered business is part of a business strategy to sell off its real estate holdings and redirect capital to modernizing its domestic dry-bulk fleet and pursuing other opportunities in international shipping.

"I believe it is a great situation for the building to be sold to local ownership," said James Caicco, broker of Century 21 Choice Realty Inc., who represented the local buyers in the transaction.

"The Station Tower is widely regarded as the city’s premier office tower."

"The local buyers plan to maintain this status and make several improvements to the building in the short term. The local investment in the building will benefit current tenants, future tenants, and visitors to the building."

Algoma Central Corp. was founded as Algoma Central Railway Co. in 1899 by Francis H. Clergue, who needed a rail line to carry his iron ore and timber.

The company added four steamships in 1900.

In 1973, Algoma Central Properties was established to manage the company's land holdings in Sault Ste. Marie's downtown core.

Station Mall opened in 1975.

Algoma Central Corp. now has four operating divisions: domestic dry-bulk, product tankers, ocean shipping, and real estate.

Two years ago, the company announced plans to sell more than one million square feet of commercial, office, retail and other buildings to focus more on domestic and international shipping.

In May of this year, it announced it had sold its Delta Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront Hotel and Conference Centre for $7.5 million.

On June 26, Algoma Central announced it was suspending efforts to sell Station Mall because of uncertainty created by Sears Canada closing its anchor store there.

A sign posted in the lobby at Station Tower indicates that the building is now managed by Property One Management and Maintenance Inc., based at 229 Great Northern Rd.