02/07/2014 12:51 EST | Updated 04/09/2014 05:59 EDT

New Brunswick government seeking buyers for bankrupt Memramcook Institute

FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government is looking to sell the provincially owned Memramcook Institute after previous operators lost millions of dollars.

The facility, southeast of Moncton, includes a spa, restaurant, golf course, walking trails and banquet facilities.

It used to include a seminary and a French-language university, known as College-Saint Joseph, both of which closed in the 1960s.

The corporation that operated the institute accumulated a debt of $4.5 million and declared bankruptcy last year.

Infrastructure Minister Claude Williams said the 240-hectare property can be profitable because of its location, which is near the borders of the three Maritime provinces.

"I think we will get some people that will be willing to invest," Williams said Friday.

College-Saint Joseph ultimately became the University of Moncton and Williams said the government recognizes the college is an icon of Acadian history.

"It will be important that the (request for proposals) includes the historical and cultural and economic component of the College-Saint Joseph," Williams said.

He said the property has been assessed at about $7 million.

Williams said the proposal process is in addition to another request for proposals issued in December seeking someone to run the Memramcook Golf Course.