After building a state-of-the-art
facility to house its growing company five years ago, B&D Manufacturing is moving another step forward, privately developing an
industrial park on its Chelmsford property just outside of Sudbury.
Acquired in 2006, the property, which
is zoned light industrial, encompasses 95.5 acres (38.6 hectares),
from which 15 assigned lots measuring roughly 6.4 acres (2.58
hectares) will be developed and sold as shovel-ready parcels.
After settling into its new home, B&D
decided the time was right to move to the next phase of its
development scheme, said controller France Dubois Hnatiuk.
“Our plan was always to develop the
actual site; however, when we purchased the land in 2006, our
priority was to actually develop the facility for B&D
Manufacturing on this land,” Dubois Hnatiuk said. “So our focus
was on that development, and now it’s time to put our resources
towards developing this industrial park.”
To date, B&D has submitted its
preliminary draft subdivision plan to the city, and will soon submit
its official draft plan for review. Dubois Hnatiuk expects a
six-month turnaround period. Although the plan is to fund the park’s
development independently, B&D is also considering approaching
funding agencies for some assistance in getting the project off the
B&D’s general manager, André
Ruest, said there are no restrictions on the property, and the flat
land on which it’s situated means no blasting is required, which
should help ease development, physically and financially.
Once approved, the park would be
developed in phases; B&D would try to locate buyers for specific
sections of the park and then expand roads and the sewage system as
the commitments are made.
The company is also looking
specifically at environmentally conscious companies that make
reducing their footprint a priority, much like B&D did when it
built its new facility. Eco-friendly options B&D incorporated
include a solar wall that reduces fuel costs by 30 per cent per year,
and the recycling of rain water into grey water holding tanks for use
in the washrooms.
“We’re getting a lot of interest,
but most people that are interested are looking for shovel-ready
land,” Ruest said. “So it’s hard for us to work out any
agreements or contracts with anyone at this stage until we have the
green light from the city.”
Shovel-ready industrial land is
notoriously difficult to find in Sudbury, and earlier this year the
city approved a $65-million, multi-stage development plan to combat
the shortage. It pinpoints areas in need of amenity upgrades, with a
New Sudbury park showcased as the number one priority. This summer,
the city proposed an $8.8-million infrastructure improvement
cost-sharing program, which the landowners flatly rejected.
With no stated timeline for completing
the city-led industrial land expansion, and landowners and the city
at an impasse, B&D’s park may be the most viable option for
companies looking to expand or open new operations. As an added
bonus, the park has a most valuable asset.
“Without sounding too corny, it’s
location, location, location,” said Dubois Hnatiuk.
The park is strategically located at
the juncture of Sudbury’s main thoroughfares, a key benefit the
company zeroed in on when searching for land six years ago. The
property provides access to Highway 144 north and the Highway 144
bypass, which extends to Highway 17 and Highway 69. The park itself
is situated on Regional Road 15 which leads to Valley East.
B&D is never more than about 29
kilometres away from the major mine sites operated by Vale, Xstrata
Nickel and KGHMI.
Word of the park’s development is
spreading and even without soliciting interest, companies are eager
to get in on the ground floor.
“Companies are calling and saying, ‘I
understand you have industrial land. We might be interested. Give us
a call when you’re ready,’” Ruest said.
Most of those calls are coming from
local businesses that are looking to grow but are out of space at
their current location. But, once everything is finalized with the
city, Dubois Hnatiuk envisions working with the city to attract
out-of-town business to the fold.
“It’s good growth for the city and
a nice, fun project,” she said.