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By Shawna O’Neill

Published on January 14, 2019

CORNWALL, Ontario – Groupe Quint, the Montreal-based company that officially purchased the Cornwall Square on Dec. 10, 2018, is looking to entice a local grocery store to occupy space in the mall.
According to Ian Quint, Owner of Groupe Quint, the company has reached out to local grocery store retailers without any luck thus far despite offering what he believes is a favourable rental price. Although Quint is anxious to speak with grocery store owners, he is confident that the mall will quickly be occupied with new retail stores.

“We’ve already had good feedback with our network of tenants,” said Quint. “We are anticipating filling up vacancies with tenants pretty quickly.”

Quint confirmed that Urban Planet will move into the upper level of the mall where Sears was previous located.

“We are negotiating with at least 10 other retailers,” he added. “They will be a very good addition to the centre; we have some very good traction.”

The Cornwall Square is the first commercial retail location the company has purchased in the province. Quint is hoping to expand further into Ontario. His company currently owns retail spaces in Quebec and in the U.S.

“We’re very happy with the purchase (of Cornwall Square),” said Quint. “We were looking at the municipality and mall for a couple of years…it seems like a great community, great location. We felt our expertise could be used to redevelop the centre, redevelop its assets…”

For now, Quint does not plan to develop an apartment or condominium complex on the property. This plan contradicts a potential concept rendering of the property released in 2018 when the mall was still owned by Partners Real Estate Investment Trust (Partners REIT).

“For the moment (we have) such high demand from retailers to rent it, (we will) go ahead and keep it a mall,” he said.

As for potential facility upgrades, Quint said the company is contemplating subdividing some spaces, potentially creating a new retail space beside the current Dollarama. The company is also currently examining the parking garage to continue its annual maintenance program with the possibility of having a ‘more welcoming’ staircase that goes from the top to bottom.

Quint maintained that the company has hired a third party that has rehired all of the previous maintenance staff as well as almost all of the mall’s former employees.

“We are very optimistic that we will bring some new retailers in the mall and significantly improve on the management there,” said Quint who is excited to develop the centre.

Quint would not confirm how much Partners REIT sold the mall for. The original asking price was $8.4 million.