Glencrest land up for grabs

Bonnie Belec
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Southlands mega-project gets going

St. John’s businessman Danny Williams was on the site of his proposed multibillion-dollar land development Tuesday to announce the project is now in the phase of selling lots. — Photos by Bonnie Belec/The Telegram

It won’t include his name, but a multi-billion dollar project will include his expertise as a St. John’s businessman.

Danny Williams laughed Tuesday at some of the names that have been bandied about for his Glencrest project in Southlands as he gathered at the site which borders the Trans-Canada Highway as well as Mount Pearl and St. John’s.

“Right now Glencrest has been the name associated with the industrial centre, but that will not be the name for the entire property,” he told reporters standing on the site of the old Fort Motel off the TCH.

The former premier said the Glendenning Golf course, which is also on the property, will retain its name, but he hopes to come up with something a little more visionary for the rest of the project.

As for the possible names tossed around to rename the 2,000-acre development — Udanistan, Dannyland and Afdhanistan — Williams said he likes them all.

“I think they’re all wonderful. All great names. I had a great laugh over a lot of them. The Afdhanistan I hadn’t even heard before,” he said.

“But no, it’s not going to be any Danny in the name at all. It’ll be a name that will have some personal meaning to me and hopefully to the family. We named Mile One over 10 years ago and there was no Danny in that so this won’t be any different.”

In March, St. John’s city council voted unanimously to allow the Glencrest project in Southlands to get started without having a formal plan in place.

First, Williams had to apply to the city to rezone four sections of his property, which the city has agreed to do.

The four sections which have been rezoned — industrial (87.32 acres), commercial (97.09 acres), residential apartment (20.84 acres) residential single houses (30.99 acres)  — are on the edge of Southlands, and three of the four border the city of Mount Pearl.

“Location. Location. Location. This is an ideal location. So we’d figure we’d let people know the land is available. We already have some pre-sales done,” he said.

“No doubt,” Williams said when asked if he thought the land will sell.

“We might not sell all 87 acres overnight, but given where it is located I would think this will be a primary choice for people buying industrial land,” he said, suggesting access to the TCH, and its proximity to the airport and downtown ports as a top selling point.

Williams expects Glencrest to attract businesses of all sizes, large multinationals as well as local businesses, and will cover a range of industrial sectors, particularly companies servicing the oil and gas and mining industries along with distributors and local enterprises. Work on the site has begun and lots range in size and, one would expect, in price. However, as for the cost of each lot, Williams said that is something to be determined between the developer and purchaser.

“There’s so much going on in the province. APEC (Atlantic Provinces Economic Council) have said we’re doing $54 billion in projects which represents half of all of Atlantic Canada — Vale Inc. is winding down, but Hebron is gearing up. Lower Churchill is gearing up there’s a lot of exploration going on right now offshore, so I think the future is very bright for Newfoundland and Labrador, and I’m bullish on the economy here,” he said.

“So as long as that happens and continues to happen you’ll see a lot of new industrial companies coming in here and setting up shop, and of course a lot of them are looking for wide-open space and laydown yards,” Williams said.

In May there were some concerns expressed to the city of

St. John’s regarding the development’s proximity to quarries on the TCH and the fact the survey of the land wasn’t included in the file, but Williams said as far as he’s concerned, it has all been rectified and the company is in the process of finalizing the layout for the main connector roads going through the project.

“So there’s no reason to think there are any glitches. Everything is moving forward. When we did our original application with council, some of our adjacent neighbours mentioned some issues, but we’ve spoken with them directly and they seem to be fine so everything is good,” he said.

Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway, APEC, Vale

Geographic location: Southlands, Mount Pearl, Atlantic Canada Hebron Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Wanting to Buy
    November 02, 2013 - 13:42

    My husband and I would love to move to the Mount Pearl area. My parents were few of the first residents of Mr. Pearl and had a summer home ( cabin) on Park Avenue in the early 50's. I was born and raised in St. John's but my husband worked in central Newfoundland and we have lived there since 1964. We would love to move closer to family living in Mt. Pearl and St. John's but cannot because of the cost of housing. We would not be able to get the price for our house here to cover the cost of a house in there., and we would not be able to take out a mortgage at our age. How sad!!! With all the land in Newfoundland some people want to become rich at the expense of seniors and the less fortunate. Will there be affordable housing in this development? We are not looking for a mansion just a house without a basement with comfortable living space with an attached garage.

  • Isedabye
    July 07, 2013 - 10:39

    I tried for several years to purchase the land surrounding the old fort motel and was told it would remain in governments hands until they found a use for it. Didn't realize until this story originally broke that they were waiting on the premier at the time to buy it all. My use was for a paved oval race track. Knowing the stench that comes from the chicken slaughter premises next door I couldn't see any real value other than an occasional recreational public use as mentioned hoping the prevailing wind would be anything but westerly on any race day. Obviously danny knows that the buyers he talks about wont mind living with the smell of chicken poop 300 days of the year. Its always heartening to know nl will never change in that the same 50 or so will always and forever rule the roost.

  • Don II
    July 06, 2013 - 11:57

    It appears that Newfoundland and Labrador is the place to be if you are in the real estate development business. It appears that the Government of Newfoundland can make instant millionaires out of some developers by changing policy, removing all of the hurdles, opening up land for sale at cheap prices, overruling all objections and clearing away any regulatory obstacles. It appears that the Government of Newfoundland will even finance some developers, change land planning and zoning to devalue private land so it can be expropriated or purchased at low prices for the use and profit of some developers. The Expropriation Act contains a clause that allows a Minister to expropriate land for almost any reason and then give, lease or sell the land taken from a private land owner to anyone the Minister chooses, with Cabinet approval, to develop or use for some other reason! The Government of Newfoundland will impose clauses in legislation to prevent appeals of land planning and zoning changes and will impose severe restrictions on access to information so nobody ever finds out what they did! For most people the drill is: The Government will approve your application for development only if you can supply 100% of the money required in American dollars within 24 hours in pennies and only on a Tuesday if it falls on the 29th day of February in a Leap year ending in 03 or if your application is filled out in hand printed wording in both official languages or if we like you!

  • Rosco
    July 06, 2013 - 05:48

    Where can I purchase some land?

  • nimby
    July 04, 2013 - 11:07

    To hmmm, what about the folks who didn't want southlands there? just because you live there, any new development must stop now? classic NIMBY

  • Eli
    July 03, 2013 - 14:19

    Somewhere there was concern about the water table. Did something better than turkeys from Sobeys change council's perspective?

  • Hmmm
    July 03, 2013 - 09:44

    I'm a resident of Southlands and I can honestly say I wish they would leave our neighborhood alone. We pay a significant price tag for land out there and I'm nervous that the City won't implement proper infrastructure (ie. access to highways) to handle the traffic. Right now Southlands Boulevard has moderate traffic and I appreciate that. I'm HOPING the access into Glencrest is not via Southlands Boulevard but via another road.

  • Paul
    July 03, 2013 - 08:35

    It's amazing what a blind trust can buy when cabinet unfreezes frozen land!

    • Corporate Psycho
      July 03, 2013 - 17:15

      Was wondering the same thing.

  • Of course
    July 03, 2013 - 07:30

    Of course everything is good. Danny can't do wrong, that we know about. Of course the land will sell. What else would he say?

  • Turry from town
    July 03, 2013 - 07:11

    This will be a great developement for the city and surrounding areas. More land for housing and amenities that go along with it. Seems like it is a well planned developement. It will generate lots of employment for the region and interest for companies and corporations who want to set up there.The main attraction is it's easy link to theTCH and Outer Ring Road.No squeezing through traffic and small roads for big riggs to get to warehousing like what has to be done to get into Donovans.