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Former General Amherst purchased, plans being developed

Valente sign replaces GAHS


A well-known piece of property in Amherstburg has officially been sold.

As evidenced by the new sign out front, the Valente Development corporation has purchased the former General Amherst High School property at 130 Sandwich St. S. The site was originally listed for sale late last year by the Greater Essex County District School Board.

Peter Valente, president of Valente Development, said in a statement that “we’re currently in the design stages for the redevelopment of the former high school. Once we have finalized our initial concepts, more information will be shared publicly at that time.”

Valente stated he believes the site is one of the most important pieces of property in downtown Amherstburg and he has family roots in the area “so we are planning on creating something sensational that everyone will be proud of.”

Noting that the company is still in the conceptual stage, Valente said they have “to get a handle on what we’re doing there.” There are no actual plans at this stage, he added, and that he couldn’t elaborate very much over what his original statement read.

“We’re conceptualizing right now,” he said. “We have to get to the final concepts.”

Valente Development purchased the building itself, he confirmed, and not the piece of property across the street that served as the parking lot.

“We’re mostly residential developments,” he said. “Yes, residential will be part of it. There will probably be more than just that.”

The building, which housed General Amherst High School from 1922-2022, has amenities like being not far from the water, close proximity to Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada, walkable to downtown and a large frontage and that made it appealing for Valente.

“It’s a great location,” he said. “It’s a fabulous spot.”

Valente said the goal is to have plans approved and marketing underway for the new development in approximately one year. He acknowledges there has been a buzz building on social media since his sign went up where the General Amherst electronic sign was.

“I know a lot of people in Amherstburg are going to be interested in what goes on there,” said Valente. “A lot of people in Amherstburg went to that school.”

Valente noted his mother, uncles and aunts attended General Amherst High School.

“My grandparents grew up on Texas Road,” he said.

General Amherst won’t be the first school Valente Development has repurposed, as they redeveloped a school building on Irvine St. in Windsor in 2000 as well as the former St. Anne High School building in Tecumseh in 2015.

Public school students, including students that attended General Amherst High School and Western Secondary School, started attending North Star High School in September 2022 with the former schools being closed.

Former General Amherst purchased, plans being developed

By Ron Giofu

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