The Town of Kentville announced today that it has purchased the property at 374 Main Street, well known in the Kentville community as “The F.W. Robinson Building”, or the “Old Edge Building”. CAO Mark Phillips says the recent purchase of the property represents the culmination of discussions by Town Council around the redevelopment of the site. The property was purchased for $170,000 and the sale closed on August 4th.
Phillips stated “the Council decision to purchase the property was due to a lack of confidence that a viable business plan existed or would come forward, that would result in the purchase and redevelopment of the property, without the Town’s participation.”
Phillips said that there are competing perceptions in the community about the state of the building, either that the building is very solid or that it has deteriorated beyond repair due to the extended period of time it has been sitting vacant. Next steps for the Town include a structural assessment and addressing concerns related to the safety of the exterior façade.
Other contributing factors in the decision included; the duration of time that the property was on the market, a number of failed attempts by potential developers and business owners to purchase and redevelop the building and site, and community feedback from the general public as well as the business community that the vacant building is a significant negative influence on the economic environment. The Town sees its role in the future of the property as a facilitator working towards an end goal of the redevelopment of the site. The Town’s intent with the purchase was not to interfere with any private process or any existing offers on the property. The Town is not aware of any other currently interested parties, but if they are out there the Town certainly wants to hear from them.
Mayor Corkum believes the decision of Council to purchase the building was the right one. “The purchase of this building, the confirmed sale of the former KCA site, and the effort being put into the façade improvement program, are all examples of positive things happening in Kentville supported by this Council”, Corkum said.
President of KDCL, Catherine Savage said the purchase of the building, “shows great commitment on the part of the Town of Kentville to the development of the downtown core. In the event a third party brings forth a project proposal related to this building, it is reassuring to know the Town will now be in a better position to support its progress.” She added, “This announcement truly captures the spirit of Kentville’s new slogan – A Breath of Fresh Air!”
Future inquiries about the property can be directed to CAO, Mark Phillips.
Editorial contact: CAO Mark Phillips