Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 2 : 00 p.m.
Future of Pitt and Second property still uncertain
The future for what was once a staple property on Cornwall’s historic four corners still seems hazy. It was announced earlier this week that a local construction company is in talks to acquire the property, which has been vacant for well over 20 years.
Bourgon Construction is in final negotiations to acquire four prime downtown development properties, including The Dominion condominium project at the corner of Pitt and Second Streets. “We strongly believe in the direction Cornwall’s downtown has taken in recent years, and the importance of a strong downtown to a vibrant community” said Bourgon Construction owner Chris Markell.
The property has quite a historically important background, once housing the famed King George Hotel, before it burned down on Valentine’s Day 1997. The King George Hotel was built as a private residence by Dr. Noah Dickinson in the 1820s. It was never used as a home, as his wife died before it could be occupied. Instead, it served as the County Court House, barracks, ballroom and concert hall. It became the American House around 1873; then the Balmoral House at the turn of the 20th century and finally the King George in 1910.
Bourgon has already begun work on a feasibility study to assess the best possible use for the landmark 'First on Second' site, with an early focus on building first-class office and community space. While the condominium project was generally well-received by the community, too few units have been pre-sold to date to justify a construction start.
"The current owners had an exceptional vision; however the market simply isn't there for luxury condominiums at that site at this time,” said Markell. “We are acknowledging that and moving forward.”
Bourgon Construction had been previously involved in the Dominion project as the builder, not as the property owner. The planned acquisition gives the company the control to direct the final development of the site.
“The First on Second site offers a tremendous location in terms of visibility and access,” noted Markell. “It has plenty of onsite parking, with ample additional parking nearby. Our goal is to reinforce recent investments in downtown businesses by bringing people to the heart of the city.”
To be included in the Bourgon downtown portfolio are three other downtown properties which will be prepared for potential redevelopment or sale over the coming weeks. “We have confidence in downtown Cornwall as a business location, and we want to create developed space that meets the demand of the market.”