Posted by Phil Andrews
This story is sure to get a guessing-game going of name that firm.
It will be interesting to see what municipality lands the plant, its 90 jobs and at what cost.
GUELPH — A food industry company may be close to constructing a major food distribution facility in the Hanlon Creek Business Park off the Hanlon Expressway in the southwest corner of Guelph.
A city report relating to the proposal estimates the development could create between 80-90 jobs and see a construction start-up date in the spring, with occupancy by the end of 2012.
But it appears Guelph is not the company’s only suitor.
The proposal was scheduled to go before council Monday evening for approval of a so-called development charge early payment agreement, but the developer pulled the report at the last minute. The city has not disclosed the identity of the company; it asserts it’s withholding that information at the request of the firm.
A city official believes the project is a good fit for the business park, but said the company has not indicated a timeframe for a decision on the project, and is likely in negotiations with other communities at the same time.
While the council report was pulled from Monday evening’s proceedings, it was made public prior to the meeting. It indicates that Guelph is one of several municipalities involved in a competitive process to attract the development opportunity. The company had indicated other municipalities were prepared to recommend deferral of development charges for up to five years.
“It is a very significant building, and would be one of the largest warehouses, if not the largest warehouse in Guelph,” said Peter Cartwright, the City of Guelph’s general manager of economic development and tourism. He added that the report to council on the development was pulled because it was “premature” to bring it forward.
According to the Feb. 6 report to city council, the proposed facility would be a 26,214 square meter (282,174 square foot) industrial building on a 8.4 hectare (20.7 acre) part of the Hanlon Creek Business Park land owned by Cooper Construction Ltd. The massive building would serve as a refrigerated distribution centre.
The report asserted that development charges for the building would amount to just over $1.6 million at $62.27 per square meter, with annual taxation revenue of approximately $325,000. The report indicated the developer was seeking to pay its development charges before March 1. The early payment would mean the developer would save nearly $600,000 in development charges. As of March 2, industrial development charges will increase to $85.14 per square meter.
“It would be great if (the proposed development) could happen,” said Cartwright. “It’s a good company. It will be a name that everybody recognizes. It’s a good fit for the business park, and it meets our needs from an economic development standpoint, since we’re targeting the agri-food industry. We don’t see any downside to it.”