SUDBURY -- Interest appears to be building in an old piece of property belonging to the City of Greater Sudbury.

The Falconbridge Arena has been closed for nearly two decades, but recently at least five interested parties have expressed some new ideas for the land.

Falconbridge businessman Paul Lizotte tried to buy the arena in 2006. He, like many in this community, was gutted to see the ice pad closed.

"Today, here with you, it saddens me that it's for sale," Lizotte said.

Lizotte formed a community group and tried to intervene, but restrictions imposed by the city and insurance costs were insurmountable.

"Whatever you put in, you get out, and at this time we were getting to the point where we would have been putting in, putting in, putting in and it wasn't feasible for any of us," he said.

Built in 1949

Built in 1949 after the Second World War, the arena was the hub of the community, a place for fun with neighbours.

The decision to close the arena pre-dates Ward 7 Coun. Mike Jakubo's time on city council. But he grew up playing on the rink and said he knows people are passionate about the facility.

"We just can't go back on decisions that were made 15, 20 years ago and then invest the extreme amount of dollars it would take for the city to open up a facility like this again," Jakubo said.

Jakubo is hoping whoever buys it will keep it clean and sharp looking - most of the neighbours we spoke with say they hope it's something the community can enjoy.

At one point, police used it as an evidence locker.

Falconbridge resident Kathy Jarmovitch lives next door to the old rink.

"My husband, his family grew up in Falconbridge and used the rink for many, many, many years," Jarmovitch said. "So it'd be nice to see something for the community and get it up and running or whatever they decide to do with it."

Everyone agrees they don't want this building to remain derelict.

For now, the property remains on the market. A figure skating club and a film studio have shown interest in the property.