New industrial park to open at CentrePort

by Martin Cash 

Less than three months since the opening of the last fully serviced industrial park, another one is coming on the market in CentrePort.

Winnipeg-based Whiteland Developers has started marketing an 80-acre industrial park called BrookPort Business Park, which is located on the west of Brookside Boulevard, north of Inkster Boulevard and just south of the planned Chief Peguis Trail extension. Construction will start on sewer, water and roadways in August.

The development of the city’s newest industrial park comes on the heels of Crystal Properties’ successful Brookside Industrial Park Phase III, which fronts the south side of CentrePort Canada Way that is already about 70 per cent sold after only nine weeks on the market. 

Satpal Sidhu, president of Whiteland, said there has been strong early demand for the new project, which will feature the possibility of smaller lot sizes — a minimum of 11/2 acres — with the possibility of assembling contiguous lots as large as 23 acres. 

"We just put the signs up and started pre-selling. Everything is now aligned," Sidhu said. "We’ve already had multiple offers, multiple calls. We are getting great response." 

After several years of struggling with a very low inventory of serviced industrial land in the city, the recently completed plan for proper sewer and water infrastructure in that eastern side of the 20,000-acre CentrePort footprint is making new development possible. 

"Now that the servicing infrastructure and the backbone of that infrastructure is in place, we are seeing the private development response," said Diane Gray, CEO of CentrePort. CentrePort has been instrumental, along with the Rural Municipality of Rosser, in organizing the complex servicing requirements. 

"We had the Crystal Properties industrial park announced nine weeks ago, and now we have Whiteland Developers with their park. We’re really excited about this."

The establishment of a servicing agreement with the RM of Rosser is encouraging for future developments on the CentrePort footprint and Gray, for one, is a big fan of the work the RM of Rosser has done. 

"The RM is fabulous," Gray said. "The reeve and the chief administrative officer and council... they understand how important CentrePort is not only to their own tax base, but to the economy of Manitoba. They are an excellent support network. They get it." 

While this is the first Winnipeg development for Whiteland, the company has owned property in the area and has undertaken several commercial and industrial developments in Saskatchewan as well as in India before Sidhu and his business partner Amritpal Jhand immigrated to Canada 12 years ago. 

The property will be configured into smaller lots with roadways that won’t have any cul-de-sacs or dead ends, and will be designed to allow easy access for transportation companies with double-trailer rigs. 

It is located directly north of the 150-acre Brookside Business Park, which is sold-out and its northern property line is along the route of the proposed extension of Chief Peguis Trail. 

Ian Corbett, a broker with Shindico Realty, will be handling the marketing of the properties, which are being sold for between $365,000 to $395,000 per acre. "The timing is good," he said. "There is good demand in the area. The development to the south is fully occupied and there has been a limited supply of serviced industrial land in the city in general, especially in this quadrant."

Sidhu said they closed the acquisition of the 80 acres — as well as another 80 acres of contiguous land that Whiteland plans to bring on to the market in another year — after about a year’s negotiation.

The land is already zoned for general industrial uses, including manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, logistics and transportation-related businesses, and will be serviced with water and waste-water servicing and all lots will have Hydro, gas, telephone and internet at the lot line along paved roads. 

Even with land priced at levels that would have been unheard of in Winnipeg five years ago, Corbett is optimistic about the marketing process. 

"We’ve had lots of inquiries. There are a number of people who want to do something on it," he said. 

"We will be in touch with those people and we expect to have a number of offers inked in the next 30 days."


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