Manitoba Housing announced Monday it’s decided to sell a downtown building that has sat vacant since a water main break.

The province has issued a negotiated request for a realty firm to market and sell the multi-unit, 21-storey high-rise building at 185 Smith St, according to a release from the province.

“We’ve determined this vacant property is the wrong building for us to invest in to renovate and re-tenant,” said Families Minister Scott Fielding. “It requires major repairs and does not have the right configuration of units to support a quality social housing program.”

Manitoba Housing has owned the building since it was first built in 1973. The property has been vacant since 2015 when a water main rupture forced all the tenants out. The building has been repaired since, but it would cost over $20 million for the province to completely renovate the space, the release said.

Fielding added that since the tenants were forced out, Manitoba Housing has added more than 500 new social housing options to its stock, plus another 130 units that are under construction.

Fielding said the Smith Street building is in a prime location and could be developed into a mixed office building or residential tower.