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Plans fall through for using Clairtone building for new business

A year ago Art Munro was prepared to purchase the former Clairtone building in Stellarton for $500,000 and transform it into a viable business, which he hoped would produce dozens of jobs for Pictou County.

But unforeseen circumstances prevented that dream from coming reality and after spending almost a year of his life trying to make it happen, he’s decided to let it go for now.

Munro who owns Wind Solutions Systems base in Summerside, P.E.I., had gone so far as to place a deposit on the building. He’d had the necessary environmental assessments done and secured financing.

It was the roof of the building that ended up being the insurmountable hurdle. It took three months to get quotes on the roof, he said. When he got them back, the prices ranged from $1.4 million to a little over $3 million to repair. It was more than was feasible.

Munro then looked at other areas in Pictou County, but nothing came to fruition, although he’s still hoping to open something in Nova Scotia.

“I tip my hat to the Town of Stellarton,” he said. “They tried to help me get the building. It was very appreciated.”

He believes the building still might have commercial value, but it’ll take someone with deep pockets to make it happen, he says.

The Clairtone building was initially used as a place to manufacture stereo systems in the plant there and after they closed the building had been used for storage by Sears for a time.

Stellarton Mayor Joe Gennoe, said the steel in the building alone would probably pay for its demolition but that’s not what he wants to see happen. He wants to see it used and providing jobs for his town.

“It’s for sale,” he said. “There are people interested but nobody’s made a move, yet.”

He was planning Monday to tour the facility with someone else who was interested. For now the town will wait to see if something can be done.

“It’s not doing any harm there,” he said. “It’s worth more standing than down.”

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