Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Calls in the Experts
BY DON RYDER
When you want carpentry work done you call a carpenter.
When Cornwall wanted more business development it call
in a business developer.
Last September Cornwall Mayor Jack Kelly did just that
by selling a 50 per cent share of the Cornwall Business
Park to APM, a Charlottetown based property developer
with experience in commercial projects across Atlantic
Kelly said the town wanted to see the 50-acre fully
serviced property filled with businesses that would
bring employment, activity and tax-paying properties to
The new partnership leaves Cornwall developing physical
infrastructure while APM recruits tenants and provides
advice on the best ways to get funding from P.E.I.
Business Development or federal programs like the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
“As mayor, our primary interest is developing the town
we want to make sure we have facilities available that
entrepreneurs can take advantage of and the town can
grow,” Kelly said.
The mayor said Cornwall is seeing signs of new
development in the park, with Central Truss and Wall
Systems recently opened and more business anticipated.
“Itâ€™s one of these things that one day thereâ€™s no sales
and all of a sudden a lot of things start to happen …
when you have a developer like APM who has the contacts
it should be a very good marriage,” he said.
Other park tenants include Acadia Drywall, Thermotechâ€™s
window plant and Central Marine Fibreglass.
The town had added its own presence to the industrial
park, building a new water reservoir and maintenance
building at the parkâ€™s far end.
Cornwall administrator Kevin McCarville said the secret
to the townâ€™s success has been allowing its partner to
use its strengths as a developer. He said a shared
interest should help both community and APM.
“Part of the agreement when the transaction took place
was that the day-to-day business arrangements and
contracts went through APM,” he said.
“They didnâ€™t buy half the property they bought 50 per
cent of all the property.”
McCarville said the town doesnâ€™t see itself being a
full-time property developer. He said their best-case
scenario would be to see the last of the 50-acre
property sold to business tenants and Cornwall out of
the industrial park business.
Kelly said Cornwall council has chosen the business park
as a way to exercise leadership in making the community
a thriving place to live and work.
“Itâ€™s about growing our town,” he said. “Itâ€™s about
opportunities for new and existing businesses to develop
and expand and itâ€™s about tax revenues that are needed
for operations. Itâ€™s about attracting a labour force to
town that will buy homes and services in the town.”