Windows were boarded up and locks were changed Monday at the Boathouse restaurant and music venue in Victoria Park as the City of Kitchener took possession of the property.

The building, which was owned by the city but leased to Boathouse operator Kevin Doyle, closed abruptly Friday.

“The lease is now void and the city has now taken back full possession of the property,” says Cynthia Fletcher, Kitchener’s director of facilities management.

“Based on council direction, staff went in earlier today and secured the property.”

City officials say Doyle owed tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent and expenses, and Doyle told CTV News a specific amount Monday afternoon.

 “I owe them $16,000 in arrears including this month’s rent,” he said.

The dispute between Doyle and the city stems back to 2011, when a rent dispute nearly closed down the value before the two sides agreed on a 10-year lease.

After that, Doyle says, he believed the city would make renovations to the interior of the facility, but that never happened.

 “It’s just frustrating,” he says.

Doyle says the only way he could financially keep the business viable was to attract outside investors, several of whom expressed an interest over the weekend after learning of the Boathouse’s closure.

Councillors were scheduled to meet Monday evening to discuss next steps for the property.

CTV’s Nadia Matos will have more on this story tonight on CTV News at Six.