Land deals in Cornwall Business Park could bring two distribution centers

A drawing from the Cornwall Economic Development website shows the available land in the so-called northwest expansion of the Cornwall Business Park. City council is expected to endorse four land deals at its meeting Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 with two of them in this area. The land deals are worth more than $8 million. (Choose Cornwall/City of Cornwall via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – Four land deals for nearly 159 acres in the Cornwall Business Park could see two new distribution centers in the coming years.

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Economic Development Division Manager Bob Peters says two companies are buying land in the area known as the northwest expansion, east of McConnell Avenue and south of Tollgate Road.

A little over six acres (6.1) is being sold to Fairview Garage Limited, operating as Cornwall Mercedes-Benz, currently on Vincent Massey Drive. Peters says the company, which had been looking to expand, had an option to buy land and is now exercising that option.

Next to it, Safavieh Home Furnishings Limited is buying 62 acres for a “potential distribution center.” The oriental rug and home furnishings manufacturer is based on Long Island, N.Y. and its markets are the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe and Asia.

The money from those land sales will be used to service the northwest expansion, Peters explained, which should happen in the next couple of years.

The third and largest parcel is for 80 acres around Tenth Street East and Industrial Park Drive to Broccolini Investment Inc. The Montreal firm is no stranger to Cornwall as it built the former Target distribution center and also built the Amazon distribution center near Navan.

Peters says the company has not disclosed who the end user will be but has submitted a preliminary site plan that “strongly suggests a distribution center.” Based on the size and land use requirements, the building would be at least a half million square feet. Peters adds Broccolini is a “highly regarded” construction company that builds for “triple-A companies.”

He adds that three other land sales recently happened in the 121 acre parcel around Tenth and Industrial and will fill out that section of the Cornwall Business Park, next to the Broccolini parcel.

The final 10.6 acres will be going to Kingland Investment Group, which is the corporate name for On Time Transport (OTT) in St. Laurent, Que. The trucking company, which ships across Canada and the United States, has a 44,000 square foot building and a large truck yard at its headquarters. The land it’s buying is at the corner of Mack Drive and Copeland Street.

With conditions putting an onus on the buyer, Peters says the public can be confident new companies are coming.

For the two companies in the northwest expansion, that three year deadline will start ticking once the sites are serviced.

Peters says it’s “rather unusual to sell this much land in such a short period of time” and the timeline will allow the community to be able to ramp up through supporting businesses, tradespeople and housing.

At the base asking price of $50,000 per acre, the deals could bring in at least $8 million to city coffers. City council is expected to endorse the mayor and clerk to sign the documents in order to solidify the deal by passing four bylaws at its meeting tonight (Monday).

Peters notes Monday’s council endorsement doesn’t mean the deals are done because the buyers still have to do their due diligence before closing. But with the land being greenfield, he is confident the sales should go ahead.

“We’re confident that these are projects that are going to proceed,” Peters said.

He says these deals speak highly of Cornwall.

Peters noted that it’s not just new businesses coming into the business park, but existing ones making investments, such as the $20 million order fulfillment upgrade system at Walmart.

The City of Cornwall still has about 200 acres of available land in the business park.

Editor’s note: Since the publication of this story, city council has passed the four bylaws without any discussion at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.