The outside of Sears at the Cornwall Square (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).
Walking around downtown this weekend I noticed two things, the smell and sounds of Ribfest, and the kids holding signs advertising Sears' going out of business sale.
For my entire life, Sears was at the Cornwall Square and it has always been the biggest store in the mall.
It will be a real change to see Sears go, but it is also a real opportunity. An imaginative business person can really add something unique to that location.
While the mall isn't what it used to be, like a lot of malls across North America, it is still in Cornwall's downtown, right across from Lamoureux Park and the waterfront, with ample parking right next door.
I was told about an innovative idea for the old Sears space and that would be to turn it into a hotel. There are some really strong merits to this idea. The Square is right across from the Civic Complex and Lamoureux Park and a hotel would be a great complimentary venue to all of the summer events that take place in that area. Also the Square is less than five minutes from the Canada/ U.S. border, which would make it ideal for tourism.
That part of town is also missing one type of store that would really serve the needs of those who live in the area and that's a grocery store. It was very convenient when No Frills was located at the Cornwall Square. There are a lot of residents within walking distance of the mall, especially with all of those new condos along Water St. and yet there is no grocery store in walking distance to serve that population.
There are a lot of seniors living in that area and some who don't drive who would really benefit from having a grocery store within walking distance. The next nearest stores would be Farm Boy up on Sydney, the Food Basics on Second St. and the Food Basics on Brookdale.
I think that there is a demand and more importantly a need for a grocery store in Cornwall's downtown. There is a lot of opportunity at the Cornwall Square, the location is right. It will just take a creative mind for business to profit off of that opportunity.