Kentville's landmark Main Street Station sold

·2 min read
Main Street Station was known as the Cornwallis Inn before a recent renaming.  (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)
Main Street Station was known as the Cornwallis Inn before a recent renaming. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)

The historic Main Street Station in Kentville, N.S., has been sold.

The landmark red brick building was built by Dominion Atlantic Railway in 1929 as a year-round hotel. It was known as the Cornwallis Inn until a recent name change to Main Street Station.

The sale prompted concerns over the building's future, with a local history group calling on the new owners to preserve the building, which now has a mix of commercial and residential usage.

CBC News emailed and called the new owners, Joseph Arab of Rosedale Developments in Halifax, but no one was made available for an interview.

Louis Comeau is a director of the Kentville Historical Society, which raised the issue of the sale on its Facebook page. His group hopes the new owners see value in keeping the building.

Submitted by the Kentville Historical Society
Submitted by the Kentville Historical Society

He worked at the building when it was still the Cornwallis Inn in the 1970s.

"It was the meeting place for travelling tourists coming to Kentville. But what killed it was the 101 Highway, which bypassed Kentville, and the two motor inns," he said.

The hotel closed in 1976 and was replaced by the current mix of shops on the ground floor and apartments on the higher floors.

"It's so prominent. Not very many small towns had a four-storey Tudor-style hotel in the middle of them," he said.

No heritage bylaws in Kentville

Beverly Gentleman, director of planning for the Town of Kentville, said the building is privately owned so the owners don't need permission to sell, redevelop or even demolish it.

"The property does not have a heritage designation. We do not have a heritage bylaw," she said of the Town of Kentville.

"It's a C-1 zone, which allows for commercial on the ground floor and multi-residential, if wanted, above the second floor."

Paul Palmeter/CBC
Paul Palmeter/CBC

The new owners have not contacted the town about making any changes to the building or made any announcements about their plans for it.

Gentleman said the new owners bought two properties: Main Street Station and an adjacent property. Either site could be developed.

"Nothing has changed in terms of what can happen with that building from the town's perspective. It's simply changed hands," she said.

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