After being selected as the successful bidder for the property at 1066 Syer Line last month, the new owner is preparing for the development of an industrial park which is expected to bring many new jobs to the community. While the sale has not yet closed, the buyer is fielding expressions of interest from a variety of potential tenants, four of which have already signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) outlining the intention to develop specific facilities on this property. There are only seven lots available under the new owner’s concept plan.
Syer Line Industrial Park Development Corporation (SLIP Dev Inc) is the buyer of record. The new corporation was established for this purpose and is headed by John Mutton. After serving as Mayor of Clarington for more than a decade, Mutton established Municipal Solutions in Oshawa, which has become a leading business development firm for the building trades. Through this firm, Mutton also provides consulting support to the new owners of Kawartha Downs on their extensive redevelopment plans for that facility.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union is one of the parties which have signed up for a spot in the new industrial park. They plan to establish a state-of-the-art training facility providing electrical training to apprentices and high school students. This group has been working with Mutton’s business development firm for more than a decade. Given the local shortage of skilled trades, this facility is expected to provide much needed electrical training to help address a growing need in the community.
Another trade-related party which has signed one of the MOU’s up is Streamline Canada. This large, luxury plumbing product distributor is hoping to expand into a new 20,000 square foot facility that includes warehouse space, a showroom and sales office. They expect to employ approximately forty warehouse, sales and office staff in this outlet upon its completion.
Cormor Inc. is a newly established general contractor and construction technology distributor who also wants to set up shop here. The firm has introduced one of the first large-scale 3D concrete printers in Canada. This technology offers fast, environmentally-friendly construction of modular and on-site applications. It has recently been selected to build the region’s first 3D-printed affordable home in Fraserville next year, a project which has been called a trial run. Cormor plans to use the Syer Line property as its Head Office as well as a research and training facility.
Another interested party is Longhouse Craft Cannabis, which is looking to develop a 620,000 square foot facility in which to grow medicinal cannabis in the first phase of the development. They are licensed under Health Canada’s Micro Grow Cultivators, which allows small companies and individuals to grow and sell cannabis to other licensed producers, retailers and storefront dispensaries. Their new facility would house fully-secured micro-grower units, where production occurs completely indoors, in what Mutton describes as a “pharmaceutical environment”, with industrial HVAC and security systems. Cannabis plants are raised using hydroponics, and water is recycled to reduce water consumption requirements. The new facility is expected to create up to two hundred jobs.
Mutton understands water concerns and is having the existing hydrogeological study peer reviewed. While he believes the existing water supply on the property is abundant, he screens potential tenants for their water needs to ensure the supply is not significantly tested by any one user.
These are the four potential projects expected to participate in Phase 1 of the project. A timeline included in their presentation indicates that the owners hope to have site plan approvals for the initial phase of the project to be completed next fall, with the first building permits issued the following year, but Mutton is optimistic that he can improve on this schedule.
Mutton is now meeting with parties who are interested in the remaining three lots. Three hotel operators have already approached him about the property. If one of them signs up, that would leave two lots left, and the deal hasn’t even closed.
In addition to the jobs this development is expected to create, there is other good news arising from the sale of this property. After all the expenses arising from the initial purchase, studies and fees are paid, Director of Finance Kimberley Pope estimates that the transaction will net the township roughly $1.3 million. Council has directed this balance to be transferred into the Asset Replacement reserves, which will help offset the cost of the new Fire Hall. Well done, Council and township staff. This feels like a win. KG