London taxpayers could become the new owners of an old building.

The McCormick factory, which closed in 2008 and has become an area for drug use and vandalism, is moving closer to re-development.

Two companies – Allied Construction Corporation and Sierra Construction Limited – have expressed an interest in fixing up the building in east London.

That’s good news to many.

“Both companies seem to have a very strong record and I look forward to the projects they are going to bring forward,” Ward 4 Councillor Stephen Orser says.

However, the city is also looking at municipal uses for the property.

Orser calls this a bad idea.

“They can look all they want. The answer is no. This property is going to create jobs, a tax base and it will create a future for Ward 4."

Ward 1 Councillor Bud Pohill agrees the city should be collecting taxes from the property, not purchasing it.

“I'm not real happy with that because you got a building here that hasn't paid taxes in seven or eight years. What we are proposing by doing that is a situation where this building will never pay taxes ever.”

Both councillors agree the final use of the building needs to be something that would attract new residents to the area, such as a retirement home or residential high rise.

Another city office building would do little to rejuvenate the neighbourhood, Orser and Polhill say.

“It’s about time something happened. We should move ahead with the request for proposals and start something happening here,” Polhill says.

Frustrated neighbours just want someone to fix up the property.

“It deteriorates the neighbourhood - makes it look bad,” says Ray Arsenault. “We want to improve things. That's our goal.”