CKWS with Ben Pilon

“Ben Pilon has played junior hockey and served on the Kingston Police Forces, but lately, he’s turned his attention to renovating heritage buildings in the downtown. His company, BPE Development, has taken old buildings and turned them into apartments and condominiums.

Newswatch’s Darryn Davis spoke with Pilon about current projects, future ones and his vision for maintaining a vibrant downtown.

“The actual area we’re standing on, there’s going to be four floors above us.”

Ben Pilon is talking about some of his company’s plans for the old united church on the corner of Queen and Clergy streets. When it’s completed, it will include 32 condominiums.

“We are now selling the units, we are preparing for construction and some demolition and renovations and, come this Spring, we’ll be moving ahead with the construction of the condominium project.”

Not all of Pilon’s projects are on the scale of the church. Just around the corner facing on McBurney Park, BPE Development converted this old house into apartments.

“We converted from a large single family to four beautiful smaller units. So you’ve got a one bedroom, a two bedroom, a three bedroom and a four bedroom in here.”

Pilon’s company works in several communities besides Kingston and Pilon says BPE Development revolves around getting people living in the downtown. He says Kingston has a downtown that is the envy of many cities but people have to live there for the downtown to thrive.

“If you build a building up to six stories and then you put a hundred new people in it and they’re all shopping downtown, all eating downtown, all getting their groceries downtown, they’re going to the market, they’re using the outdoor activities and amenities that are offered by the city.”

He adds people who live downtown use their car less and the municipality benefits from more taxes generated.

Not only is Pilon putting his money where his mouth is by developing many of these older downtown buildings, he plans to live in his vision for the downtown core. He says when this particular development is done on the corner of Wellington and Brock Street, he plans to live here.

“I love these projects so much I’m taking a unit downtown and that’s where mine is going to be in the right spot.”

The Wellington Street development will have close to a dozen units that will be available early next year.

Darryn Davis, CKWS Newswatch Kingston”

Ben Pilon was featured on CKWS for BPE Developments current plans, future plans and his vision for maintaining a vibrant downtown.