Cornwall Ontario Developer & Author Ron Chenier Floats Downtown Condo Offering – July 29, 2013

Place DominionCFN – Cornwall Ontario residents tired of the eyesore at the corner of Pitt and Second Street may have some hope.     Author and developer Ron Chenier via the City of Cornwall has floated some drawings to measure response from the public for a four storey condo building to be called Place Dominion if it gets built.

“We approached the design of Dominion Place with the knowledge that the new building will immediately become a landmark, a cornerstone in the successful redevelopment of Cornwall’s downtown and waterfront,” added Chenier.

chenier “We wanted to make a positive contribution to the ongoing revitalization of downtown, not just as a shopping and dining district, but as one of preferred residential areas of the city.” 

No construction dates have been confirmed.   The release states that two of the fourteen units have been sold; but Mr. Chenier could not state what the prices are for the units and right now he and his partner Dick Martell are measuring the public interest.

The building if built would dwarf those next to it.   Currently the empty lot is boarded up with artists renderings of what a downtown core might look like funded by Denis Carr and Heart of the City with estimated costs from $12,000 – $50,000.

Heart of the City/Centre Town  receives approximately $30,000 per year in tax dollars and was created out of city funds via the Province of Ontario.  It is run by Denis Carr who sits as a City Councilor as well.

Mr. Chenier’s plans hope to put a high end luxury units in the Heart of Cornwall’s downtown district.  Most of the unit sketches are near 2,500 square feet in size with a rooftop terrace and office space on the ground floor.

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  1. lol there was no comment how much of cost to city/tax payers…or anyone sounds like lots will be held in someones hands wont benefit the city just benefit the city designers and martell all in their pockets again lol what a joke. No one can answer a comment clearly sounds like a typical politics all bs no truth and dodging the real questions. Blah on Cornwall. I use to believe in Cornwall at one time until I see tail gaters at Tim hortons you know how pathetic the city has become with the death of Domtar the city spirits died with it.

  2. Mr. Chenier should consider some street level retail on Second Street. The lower right side of the building (in the image) is a bit unforgiving to the street.
    I hope the city’s planning department recognizes that.

  3. This project providing it goes ahead looks great to me Jamie .
    Dick Markell ( Bourgon Const ) will ensure that project will be finished properly if and when it gets started considering that
    the base is already there including ( pile driving etc ) it would
    be a quick start to proceed upward .

    It sure appears Coun Carr has a real hang up with you Jamie whats that all about ?

  4. Author

    William you’d have to ask Denis. I love the Guy, but it’s like dating the fat chick or something. We’re buddies one on one and then he votes to hurt CFN or acts the clown when with Kilger and cronies. It’s kinda sad as I like the guy.

    Reminds me of something I was taught by a very very wise man who survived two concentration camps in WWII.

    There is always someone smarter than you out there and someone smarter than that person.

  5. I think this will be a huge boost to the downtown businesses. eople living in the down town core are the life with in.

    The street was originally set up for down town apartments atop of the existing buildings. Take a walk and note the business addresses you will notice there is room for an additional address which was suppose to be built on the second level of places such as the Mc Lennan building.

    Admin Sorry but I need to ask, why do you feel the need to mention concentration camps in WWII? Does it add anything to your post?

    You need to be careful with Denis, You can see his need for approval from his associates by how he smiles and looks around at them after his comments. He is a shallow and troubled man

  6. I’m sure Ron has felt obliged to ‘get to it’ all along. He should be appreciated for holding on until he was able to assess a more viable project.

    No matter what the man came up with all the arm chairs will come out with their griping and just in amongst them there may come a pretty good offering that clicks with everyone.

    Until the final draft, we can be sure some changes will come along that will help make this a good fit for Cornwall. You know, the King George and the Old Fort were effective and efficient for their day. They served the community well and was accepted for what it was. That being said one has to admit it was a little tired looking and just about the same size or even smaller when I think about it than what Mr. Chenier has planned.

    Frankly gentlemen and ladies, yes, there are some out there, ladies that is, let’s give it a chance. In two to three years from now we’ll forget about the struggle it took for the new owner(s) to bring it all together, but they did.

    Lets hope it will serve Cornwall well and maintain the dignity it seems to be offering for as many years or more than its predecessor’s did and finally a more appropriate tax assessments can begin to compliment it for the cities benefit too.

  7. Where’s the dog? And the pony?

  8. Dave Windsor July 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    No matter what the man came up with all the arm chairs will come out with their griping and just in amongst them there may come a pretty good offering that clicks with everyone.

    See what I mean? Already the first dumb comment comes up with a supper great thought! Wow, thank you

    420 said July 29, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Where’s the dog? And the pony?

    Hey Ron, what about it? Surely in front of or even inside a full size mounted equestrian stallion with a hound following closely would compliment the whole approach.

    That and with André Pommiers’ excellent clock corner would really build on the pick up this whole city is looking for…that sense of pride we can all share.

    Thank you 429 said. What a great thought you had. We can make lemonade now.

  9. If its built entirely on private financing . . . go ahead with it.

  10. Seriously people, look at the second street portion of the building (lower right in the image.) Its a bit too much like the Cornwall Square on Water Street…

  11. Downtown areas are usually more than 2 blocks ,what do you do after you have breakfast ,buy some over priced clothing or hang out at the mall like the rest of the population? Don’t forget condos are gifts and they bring in alot of retired people from other cities and proviences , and will add to are already strained medical system.

  12. Admin
    The way you describe your dealing or relationship with Denis Carr
    seems very strange to me especially after watching his comments
    directed to you on the Bus . For sure he seemed quite content to grandstand in the presents of many others on our City payroll
    instead of just answering your questions . Other people might very
    well see him as being two faced .

  13. Carr’s words were cagey and mocking. his expression masks anger and disdain

  14. Carr is a narcissistic ass and too long in the tooth. His ignorance and arrogance with Jamie is no different than his cocky attitude towards everybody else.

    As a ‘showman’ he has garnered his ability to bully while accepting the laughter hedged by those around him.

    We are all well aware that Denise is a very bright person who has talents beyond most of us. He has applied those well within the city needs in budgeting and discernment of most other city studies and assessments.

    Still it’s that he now mocks and bullies as an overlord. Most unfortunate not for him but for those around him.

    Voting time is coming up sooner than he realizes…watch his loony tune mosaic and sucking up change at that time.

  15. I could develope that sight with other people’s money. Remember the Cornwall Aces, when Mr Chenier was hired as Marketing Director, lol? I’ll believe this story when I stroll through the front doors. How long has this site sat undeveloped, an eye sore to the downtown. This project has done nothing so far but cost taxpayers money. Where do you think “Heart of the City” dollars come from? Mr Chenier should be made to reimburse the “Heart of the City” the funds that were spent to build a “catoon” wall to cover up a “developers” joke.

  16. Can we please hear a bit more on the dick markell piles
    oops i mean the fine underpinnings hidden behind the infamous Cornwall Pitt and Second fence…add to this the “disaster zone” at the foot of the bridge..and Cornwall..with the domtar smoke stack still standing…Fails… u get paid per mention of the DICK??
    “the base is already there including ( pile driving etc ) it would”

  17. Laughable, but go ahead lol…. Can’t do anymore harm

  18. It will look terrible once residents start installing their Air Conditioning units beneath the windows. It will actually look as terrible as the Seaway building across the street which could use a dramatic cleanup and remodeling. In fact the owners should demolish it and rebuild something more elegant.

  19. I think Chenier will embarass Markell and the city again.{MODERATED} He started a business which looked good on paper and was marginally successful in Cornwall, sold franchises, they all went bust and he got the cash and wrote a book. Great entrepreneur. I swear he’s only here and doing this because of {MODERATED} and he wants to “save” Cornwall by building this altar to Denis Carr.
    Thank you. I’ll be here all week.

  20. How about some low-end housing, for all of the younger generations. Not every new development plan for Cornwall has to be solelly for the rich and retired. This is gettng out of hand. When I received Cornwall’s business plans in 2010 I read about the condos that were going to go up, and that are now up. Wonderful, however nothing has changed with that end of town. Let’s be honest, it’s still run down. There are enough of us struggling just to live off of $1000 a month or less. Give us a place to live. Give us our city back.

  21. Author

    Ryan nobody “gives” you or “owes” you anything in this world. If people want more social housing they have to work and pressure for it. They have to vote, organize, and elect people who will work for them.

    I know there’s a stink over the last election that only gets stronger, but the few candidates that talked and wanted to work for Social causes had almost no votes.

    Think about that. Will you be the change or just another complainer?

  22. Very sad if public funding is being considered for this condo plan.

    Lets recall that publicly funding ethanol plant fiasco that went on in Cornwall for many years . . . an independent company that had zero links to any of the public sector ethanol players in Cornwall, Greenfield Ethanol resolved the fiasco by opening a competing plant at Johnstown. The Cornwall ethanol fiasco was to be built at the wrong location for an ethanol plant . . . and without public funding, the fiasco would have been resolved very quickly.

    The last thing that Cornwall needs is another fiasco that involves public funding.

    The best that can happen for Cornwall would be for the condo project to move forward and to fruition on 100% private funding. In this regard, the Markell group deserves recognition and praise for their projects on Water Street. And the Markell group achieved their objectives without any of the news media fanfare that surrounds the proposed condo plans for Pitt & 2nd.

    I met Ron Chenier many years ago when he owned a furniture store . . . and he seemed to have entrepreneurial talent in the retail sector.

    With regard to the vacant land at Pitt & 2nd, he has had many years to do something about it. Somehow, the market seemed good enough for Markell to do something worthwhile at several locations along Water Street . . . . while at the same time, the market did not seem to have been good enough to do something similar at Pitt & 2nd. Something is not smelling quite right about this scenario . . . How come construction success on Water Street and for several years nothing happened at Pitt & 2nd?

  23. Markell built beautiful condos on Water Street and I complimented him for what he did and did a very beautiful job indeed.

    I do not like this building at all that is to be constructed. There is one going up on the Vanier Parkway here in Ottawa that resembles this building but a lot bigger and the one next door to the building on the Vanier Parkway looks a lot better with balconies.

    To the person wondering where they are going to stick A/C’s there will be none sticking out but built in A/C – central air. I prefer balconies and being able to sit out and having plants, etc. This place looks more like a jail house or one of the high rise government towers. YUCK! You have to live in it to know how shut it you feel – but to each his or her own.

    About low income housing don’t count on much of that happening. Cornwall is going to be a retirement town and that is what Bare Ass has his sites set on and all young people will have to leave the town since it is finished. I was thinking about it being just for the elderly and I can say that I would be mighty depressed just seeing old people even though they are the best. Cornwall really went down and young people have to leave and seek work elsewhere. There is no future for young people – only for the elderly and the disabled. People have to move on just like we did and so many others. Now what is Bare Ass going to do with that “albatross of an arena Benson Centre that I call a tax mahal” when young people will no longer be around to use it and old people will need a case of geritol a day to be able to lace up their skates. What a fiasco that he made.

  24. It is sad that Ron Chenier was connected to the Cornwall Aces . . . especially in view of behaviour that involved public figures who approached the business community to raise money support that initiative. That was a sad event in Cornwall’s history.

    In a relay race, a runner passes the baton to a team mate . . . in a football game, a player passes the ball to a team mate in the pursuit of victory. Markell has proven adept in the pursuit of victory in the development sector . . . perhaps its time for Ron Chenier to pass the ball over to Markell.

  25. Jamie you have to let this one go through to Jules and Harry
    Jules and Harry
    You and others here have the Grant families and the Markelll families mixed up as much as your heads. The Markell construction company has nothing to do with this. John Markell builds houses and condos. Dick Markell inherited Bourgon Construction from his father in law. Grant Construction is not related to Glen Grant. Ron Chenier had nothing to do with Chenier-Bouvier furniture.

  26. Good-‘0’ 420……..we all needed that.

  27. OK 420

    We’ve had condo’s built on Water Street while a plot of land sat vacant at Pitt & 2nd. Several years ago, there was a previous plan that involved a lot of fanfare to build something spectacular there . . . and nothing has yet materialized. Why?

    There was no fanfare in the local news media in regard to spectacular plans to build upper scale accommodations on Water Street . . . except that while the plot of land at Pitt & 2nd sat vacant, construction went ahead and something attractive was built.

    Ron Chenier wrote a book about achievement . . . . we’ve been waiting for several years for somebody ‘to walk the talk’. Had something on par with the accommodations on water street gone up at Pitt & 2nd, the book’s author would be a credible role model . . . he formulated the plans and he walked the talk.

    Except we have somebody who said nothing in public and some attractive accommodations went up on Water Street. Perhaps one of the Markell’s coulld author a book entitled, STAY QUIET AND ACHIEVE REMARKABLE RESULTS.

  28. If the city hired Ron Chenier at his $10,000 per diem (hysterical laughing throughout the country!) for five years straight of his motivational and team-building exercises (not so funny the way the city works) it could be routed through Denis Carr and Dana MacLean with the Brownfield and Heart of the City bullshit. If Chenier did it pro bono (only kept profits from resales of his best selling book?), the city could pay for all the units in Dominion Place (Units 1-2 pre-purchased by an anonymous Chenier and Markell) and have some money left over for the Progress (Lecky/Kilger/Latour/Keeping) Fund and perhaps enough for Al Gore to turn the wind back toward Lift-Off.
    This city is the joke that keeps on giving. I hope I can change that soon.

  29. In the history of economic development, we’ve had 2-types of developers:

    1) People who are anonymous and whose photo’s never appear in the local news media. Only the company name is known . . names like SCM, Target and Shoppers Drug that have built buildings in the industrial park . . . on private funding. These anonymous personalities whose faces are unknown to the local residents . . . actually did something worthwhile for the future of Cornwall. Even when the names of Bourgon and Markell appeared on a sign at a construction site . . . . the people named Bourgon and Markell never appeared in the local news media . . . except that a building went up . . . . followed by businesses moving into some buildings and residents moving into new accommodations at other buildings.

    2) The news media stars . . . their photo’s appear in the local media . . . they’re the economic white knights in shining armour who are here to usher in a new era of economic opportunity to Cornwall. Quite often, their business plans depend on a dose of government funding. While they’re waiting for the funding, they’re doing the rounds addressing local business lunch and dinner meetings in regard to their superior prowess in the world of business and commerce . . . with plenty of photo-ops with local elected officials.

    And what is there in Cornwall that attests to the extra-ordinary entrepreneurial expertise of these news media stars? NOTHING !!!!!! Except that few people even notice !!! And while these stud breeding mules of spectacular economic potential were appearing in the local media, nobody seemed to notice that they had nothing of any substance under the tail that could achieve anything.

    With regard to Pitt & 2nd, somebody’s been sitting on the potty for a hell of a long time . . . with no results. Perhaps its time for a dose of mineral oil to get things moving. Somebody wrote a book about achievement and success . . . its time for somebody to do something to add some credibility to that book.

  30. Ron Chenier, entrepreneur and author… oh, oh, ouch my ribs. What a ridiculous assertion!

    Google is by no means the end all in research, but a quick Google search indicates that outside of Ron’s own web site, he’s “virtually” a non-being.

    A look at the web site is a step back reveals ancient accomplishments, spurious claims and fabricated tesyimonials.

    Hold onto your wallets ye who be fools in Cornwall… between our jack-ass councillors and this flim flam man, we’re about to be robbed.

  31. Hi Simon,

    You may be on to something.

    I remember back when government grants were easy to obtain for anyone willing to open a new business in a town with a struggling local economy. Any number of smart talkers came to do an economic one-night-stand in Cornwall . . . when the gov’t cash expired, they were off to another needy town and Cornwall residents who worked for them, got turfed on to the street . . . and that happened repeatedly.

    With regard to the plans for Pitt & 2nd, we’ve seen this type of thing occur in Cornwall . . . repeatedly . . . and over a period of many years and many city councils. We had the local media praise these people . . . except that after a long period of time, it became apparent that we were dealing with an emperor with no clothes . . . (only the very wise who were connected with the city council, could see the marvellous clothes).

    Over the years, several stud breeding mules with excellent physiques passed through Cornwall . . . all to be feted by the municipal powers-that-be at the time . . . . and none of the breeding mules were equipped with anything functional under the tail. There were the likes of entrepreneurial genius Marvin Marvellous, business wizard Tom Tremendous, master commerce strategist Sam Spectacular and trade strategy specialist Willy Wonderful and partner Fred Fabulous.

    One of them even proposed to develop the equivalent of an industrial toilet in Cornwall’s business park, a business plan that depended on available government funding, near the SCM warehouse. Fortunately the Mayor came to his senses on this one . . . but not after first smelling a rat.

    With regard to some one writing a book about success and achievement, there have been businessmen such as Victor Kiam, Lance Secretan, W Clement Stone and Harvey MacKay who authored business and inspirational books while at the head of a large and successful commercial enterprise. They already had achieved an established record of credibility before they wrote their books.

    Here in Cornwall, we’re waiting for somebody to add credibility to a business book, by actually doing something worthwhile entirely on private capital.

  32. I love Mr. Harry Valentine’s description above that he has me laughing in stitches. LOL LOL. Very good description Mr. Valentine you made my day in laughter.

  33. “Simon” I had a good chuckle at how you described the robbers of Cornwall and yes folks hang on to your wallets. You will be paying exhuberant taxes like you would never dream about. Get your sticks and stones ready to clobber the hell out of all those who are robbing you all blind and believe me that is coming for sure in the not too distant future. You will wake up trying to find your wallet empty and wonder who robbed you while you were sleeping.

  34. Don’t get too excited folks, the construction is probably a long way off. The Cotton Mills wouldn’t even think of beginning construction until they had 50% of the dwellings sold. Who on earth would want to live on the corner of Pitt and Second? Does anyone remember one of the main reasons for our one-way street system. Traffic grid-lock at this very location. Yes, there were businesses in the downtown core with apartments over top, but in the beginning these residences were probably for the owners. Councillor Carr have you had another brain bubble or is there an abode for you in the future? Honestly, this man, Ron Chenier, has screwed the City time and time again. Do you not remember the infamous Aces +++? Surely your memory cannot be failing you that badly. I believe the HOT has lost its way with you at the helm and that actual planning is out of the picture. This man should not get 1 cent of government dollars–EVER! He never works with his own money and his schemes are only slated to benefit him. There was another such person years ago who always worked with the money of others but he actually accomplished things in the City–like the total development of the Eastcourt Mall and the surrounding subdivisions. Chenier just spews the BS and I cannot believe anyone would fall for this again–especially not Dick Markell who is so well respected in his field.

  35. I agree with SMITH. The proposed design of the lower (street level) floor has severe design issues. It lacks the retail friendly openness that should be present for this major corner location. Hopefully we have competent staff in the planning department not to replicate such hideous mistakes of the past as the Square and the Complex. The second floor should be professional office space only and I would be an advocate to landmark the corner and permit an additional two floors (pending some design changes)

    The design is on the ho hum side although unlike the architecture of the Benson monstrosity it does portray the sense that it was erected from an obscene supply of left over materials.

  36. Sorry, should have read “doesn’t portray the sense…”

  37. Perhaps the City of Cornwall may well consider renting a floor or more in this proposed building to bring together other City office space currently rented .
    This partnership between Ron Chenier & Dick Markell 50-50 % split or a much different % split ? It wouldn’t surprise me to much to here that Mr Markell held the largest share with Ron acting as a front man .

  38. “420” I have not said anything about Chenier being related to Chenier-Bouvier furniture nor have I mixed up the Grant family in quite a while since I got to know the difference. There are so many Grant families in Cornwall that Cornwall may have combined all their names and others together as a change in name. I know the Bourgon family from way back and John Markell built the beautiful condos on Water Street. I don’t care who is related to whom but I have seen beautiful construction done on those Water Street condos.

    The condo that they want to build at Pitt and Second looks like an office building rather than a condo and I sure wouldn’t by one of those for any amount of money. Buying a place before it is built is a humoungous risk and if a contractor goes bankrupt you lose everything. Living in that kind of a condo is a prison cell and very ugly to boot.

  39. I have visited people who live in the condo’s Markell buiilt . . most of the residents have a view of the waterfront and river. They can walk across water street on summer evenings to enjoy a stroll along the path on the waterfront. Living in a condo at Pitt & 2nd is quite different . . . residents will have daily weekday peak traffic going by the front door. And what do they have for a view.

    Most of the tenants who lived along Pitt Street occupied living space located right about retail outlets or related businesses. The accommodations are affordable economy rental units . . . quite different from the quality of residential accommodation that is typical of a condo. And the Pitt & 2nd proposed condo will be in competition with the proposed cotton mills condo project.

    To provide attractive accommodations in a waterfront condo project, a large section of the neighbourhood has to be upgraded . . . . or built to stand apart from other older accommodations in the area. That may be possible at the cotton mills area. How will that be possible at Pitt & 2nd?

  40. You are right indeed Mr. Valentine and I know since I live in a residential area off one of the busiest thoroughfares here in Ottawa and you want noise come over for a visit. LOL LOL. Everybody asks us how we can live here and when tenants come most do not stay past one year that is how bad the traffic is and anybody stupid enough to purchase of those units would need a very good psychiatrist. LOL LOL.

    To erect a building in that place would be for business only and not for condos. Nobody in their right frame of mind would want that. Here in Ottawa they build them in noisy areas because people want to be close to their jobs and also single homes are unaffordable.

    One thing about us renting is that we are free and there is no price for freedom. We can go where we like if we didn’t want to live here anymore but we learned our lesson the hard way and it is to stay put where we are at least for now. Who knows what the future brings but I sure wouldn’t want to be tied to a huge mortgage and be poor. No thank you. We sure learned our lesson the hard way.

  41. Nay’s from the peanut gallery.

    Food for fader about concrete
    (pun intended) thought.

    I would suggest a wise man would be thankful
    for concerns expressed.

    In the final analyses is it really possible
    to a plan acceptable
    to the accommodation of every one.

    I don’t think a class of hotel’
    is warranted here,
    nor a mini ‘Toronto Eaton’s Centre either.

    While an apartment mix may too be nixed’
    something between may fit the mix.

    Have consultants been sought or
    are those here the one’s you wrought?

    Tis a funny town and a funny time,
    yet notin doin is not in mind.

    Not a plan has anyone given save said,
    one here in our very vision.

    Chariots on fire to put it all down,
    rises more thought to raise up our town.


  42. I look on with great interest as the corner of Pitt&2nd moves glacially towards a shiny new phase. How about – The Joe Balil Towers?
    Some will remember Joe as a free-living boho who often hung around this corner, sharing his mantra “Joe Balil from Apple Hill, never worked and never will”. Although a man of humble ways and means, it seems many of the locals have found inspiration in Mr Balil’s visionary life philosophy

  43. I have to agree with a lot of the comments on here. I don’t know the whole back story but I do think that luxury condos in downtown Cornwall is not the answer. Affordable apartments like the other downtown apts. would be the answer. I love the apartments over the businesses. However I guess no developer would make enough money on that site after all this time with just apartments.

  44. Well R. and D., did this research float meet with your expectations?

    Perhaps either or both can give your overviews.

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