Centre Wellington council unanimously approves strategy for new Fergus business park

·2 min read

Centre Wellington council has agreed on the strategy that will guide development of the municipality's first business park.

Council purchased the 58 acre parcel located in north Fergus in February, 2020.

The strategy, prepared by consultants McSweeney and Associates and presented to a township committee earlier this month, anticipates a big demand for space in the park with lots expected to sell out within two years of hitting the market.

It also identifies target industries and makes recommendations for permitted and non permitted uses, along with land sales and pricing policies.

Mayor Kelly Linton thanked council for "being visionary" following the approval of the strategy.

"We're competing against neighbouring municipalities and we're doing something now that is going to put us on the map and we're doing something now that is going to drive jobs and investment to Centre Wellington," Linton said.

"This is an exciting day for us as we move ahead and stay tuned, they'll be updates as we go along," he continued.

A significant portion of council's discussion on the matter at Monday's meeting focused on preventing land speculation.

Chief Administrative Officer Andy Goldie told council sale conditions will include measures to ensure if a purchaser "does not develop on a site in a certain time period, that they have to return it to the township."

The approved strategy envisions the business park as “somewhat upscale” from other industrial developments in the area. Target users would be businesses, typically manufacturers, looking for buildings between 10,000 to 50,000 square feet. Retail and other public-serving type uses would be not included.

The consultants see specific opportunity to attract tenants in five key sectors: food and beverage manufacturing; equipment, metalworking and machinery manufacturing; organic and chemical manufacturing; professional services — like computer systems, design, and architectural/engineering services; and information and cultural industries — such as motion picture and video production, and software industries.

Alison Sandstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com

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