St. Marys Journal Argus
The St. Marys Post Office building on Wellington Street has sold at auction for $257,000. The purchasers are Jay Patel, a Stratford resident and owner of West End Variety on Queen Street West in St. Marys, and his business partner Ray Patel of Brampton.
“Right now, we’ll keep it the same, with the same tenant (in the building’s sole residential apartment). Maybe later, we’ll do some renovating,” Ray Patel told the Journal Argus immediately after the auction, which took place on the morning of Saturday, April 26 inside the front doors of the main-floor Post Office portion of the building.
Canada Post, which recently renewed a three-year occupancy agreement with the building owner, the Town of St. Marys, also uses a portion of the building’s basement.
Also housed within the building are a karate work-out space in the basement and a vacant space on the second floor that formerly accommodated a police station.
The reserve bid at the auction, conducted by realty auction specialist Brent Shackleton, was $250,000. The Patels jumped into the bidding after the reserve was achieved, with a bid of $255,000. Shackleton wrestled a bid of $256,000 out of the original bidder, and the Patels answered at $257,000.
The auctioneer tried for a couple more minutes to entice further bids, but there were none forthcoming.
Ray Patel said the duo hopes to begin planning renovations to the vacant police station portion of the building as soon as the deal closes — Shackleton told the crowd of about 50 in attendance that Town Council, which must ratify the sale, has scheduled a meeting for next week — but there won’t be any other major changes.
Prior to the auction, Shackleton also noted that the family of long-time former unofficial Post Office “greeter,” Frank Taylor, has asked that any buyer of the building “give consideration” to the commemorative stone that has been in place since Taylor’s death. The auctioneer explained the family is happy to have the stone — bearing Taylor’s familiar “Have a nice day” wish — remain in place, but if the buyer decides to reconstruct that portion of the property, they would like to have the stone returned to the family.