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Corner Brook downtown business owners hope list will help fill vacant locations

The former Canton Restaurant and the old Burtons Appliance shop two doors up from it are two of the nearly two dozen vacant properties on the unoccupied commercial property listing released by the Corner Brook Downtown Business Association Wednesday.
The former Canton Restaurant and the old Burtons Appliance shop two doors up from it are two of the nearly two dozen vacant properties on the unoccupied commercial property listing released by the Corner Brook Downtown Business Association Wednesday.

Martin Earle and Donna Blanchard say the release of a list of vacant downtown business spaces is a good next step in trying to fill them.

Earle and Blanchard each own two properties among those listed in the inventory released Wednesday by the Corner Brook Downtown Business Association.

The list contains 23 different properties that have space available for sale or lease or have an undetermined status.

Earle’s properties include the CIBC Building at 9 Main St. and the Dardeck Building just next door at 11 Main St. Both have some tenants, but still have available spaces within their confines.

The few spaces Earle has available are relatively big, which he says makes it a bit tougher to find tenants for, especially with new, small companies trying to keep costs as low as they can.

“Advertising is a big thing and this listing could definitely help make a difference,” said Earle. “I advertise, but I just don’t get any calls.”

Blanchard’s family business, meanwhile, still has its Blanchard’s Refrigeration building at 37 Brook St. and former home of The Furnace Man at 39 Main St.

Both of those businesses now occupy 26 Broadway.

She would rather sell the properties than lease them, but is keeping that as an option. There has been some interest, but no bites on purchasing yet.

Like Earle, Blanchard likes the idea of having an additional listing for free, but figures it should be extended to beyond the downtown core.

“I’m not sure if someone went searching for property in Corner Brook if they would link to that website or not,” said Blanchard. “It’s great that the Downtown Business Association has done this for us, but anyone outside the downtown area still have to list their properties through real estate.”

Both Earle and Blanchard say Corner Brook is lacking in terms of having a driving force to generate the economic development required to lure clients and buyers to the city for these available properties.

“The first thing someone is going to do is call city hall and ask what properties are available, but I think we do need someone here in Corner Brook to promote businesses coming here,” said Earle.

Find the unoccupied commercial property listing at www.downtowncornerbrook.com.

Related story:

Corner Brook Downtown Business Association tackling vacant building issue

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