Former radio station property to be sold for office space

The former Cornwall radio station building on Water Street, seen here Aug. 19, 2015, is being rezoned to make it more appealing to the real estate market. The owner, Tri Co Sports Cornwall Ltd., wants to see the 237 Water Street building used for office space. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The owners of a former radio station building on Water Street are legally dressing it up for a future sale.

Tri-Co Sports Cornwall Ltd. principal Paul Vincent and agent, Sandy Cameron, were in the gallery during the zoning change review at the city’s planning advisory committee meeting Monday night.

The change would designate the half-acre property at 237 Water Street East as Central Business District from its current Residential 30 zoning. The 8,800 square foot building on the corner of Water Street and Adolphus Street has been vacant since November 2006.

Like the city’s planning staff, Coun. David Murphy found it surprising the property had been zoned residential for all these years, joking that “some of us lived there” during the radio station coverage of the North American Ice Storm of 1998.

Real estate agent Sandy Cameron told councillors the rezoning would help make the property more appealing to buyers, by removing costly environmental reviews.

“We are looking at basically…legalizing the whole site (it’s legal non-conforming right now) so it doesn’t have to be a radio station or something along those lines…we envisage kind of office space development in there…just bring it back in sync with what the adjacent zoning is,” Cameron told PAC members.

Cameron told the committee the owners plan to sell the property but they want to legalize the zoning first because it makes it “impractical to go to market” because it makes getting financing difficult.

“The owners aren’t planning to redevelop it,” Cameron said.

Tri-Co Sports Cornwall Ltd. principal Paul Vincent, left, and agent Sandy Cameron listen to a question from a PAC committee member on Aug. 24, 2015. Cameron said the owner's intention is to sell the building to a developer once the zoning paperwork is complete. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Tri-Co Sports Cornwall Ltd. principal Paul Vincent, left, and agent Sandy Cameron listen to a question from a PAC committee member on Aug. 24, 2015. Cameron said the owner’s intention is to sell the building to a developer once the zoning paperwork is complete. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Moving away from the residential zoning will also alleviate the need for costly environmental property assessments or remediation.

The site has gone through two environmental review phases, which identified an underground heating oil tank used to fuel a hot water boiler in the building. The tank has since been removed and has cleared a review by St. Lawrence Testing.

The property rezoning has been endorsed by PAC but still needs to be approved by city council at its Sept. 14 meeting.

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