Condo conversion for Lorneville Apartments

In this undated picture from a Cornwall Planning Advisory Committee report, one of the two towers of the Lorneville Apartments on First Street East in Cornwall, Ont. (City of Cornwall via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – The owners of an east end apartment complex on First Street East are going through the process to convert their buildings into condominiums.

The Cornwall Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) held a public meeting last night (Monday) on the application to convert the two towers, commonly known as the Lorneville Apartments, at 1430 and 1450 First Street East.

The move by the owner is for financial reasons and is not expected to affect current tenants at the building.

Planner Mary Joyce-Smith told Cornwall Newswatch the matter was deferred until next month because councillors wanted more information on the city’s rental vacancy rate and information from Chief Building Official Chris Rogers.

There were a couple of people in the audience for the public meeting through there were no objections heard, Joyce-Smith said.

There are 248 rental units in the two towers to be converted, which was built in the mid 1970s.

A report to the PAC committee notes the property manager, Realstar Management, has completed similar condo conversions in the past.

“The owner has no intention to sell any apartment units to residents or to third parties…the owners have made it clear that this change is being done strictly for administrative, legal and financial reasons,” the report reads.

There are other laws in place to protect the tenants from eviction and first right of refusal should the owner decide to sell, but that is not in the cards, according to the PAC report.

Converting apartments to condos gives owners a better position when it comes to financing as well as some potential tax savings.

The owner has met with all the tenants prior to the application being filed, Joyce-Smith added.

Next month’s PAC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2017 (Monday is Family Day).