There’s new life for a proposed business park that had been dormant in Spaniard’s Bay for many months.
It’s been two weeks since heavy equipment returned to the site of the Veterans Memorial Business Park, located in the community of Tilton. The 240-acre development has been described as a power centre similar to Kelsey Drive in St. John’s.
The return of equipment to the site coincides with the involvement of Paradise-based Karwood Realty. The Newfoundland realty giant took over development of the project last month, although the purchase price is not known.
Wasting no time, Karwood set about completing its first order of business — shifting the current power grid.
The company is in the midst of digging a trench with plans of moving the power lines that run on the edge of the development.
Once that has finished, the company will move into its planning phase for the project.
“We’re working on some excavation on where the power lines have to be and what kind of fill areas have to be done and get that in line so we can get our engineering figured out,” said Karwood owner Hubert Hussey.
“We’re going to do the same thing testing where our water lines go.”
Once this preliminary work is done the next step will be to lay out a blasting schedule.
Hussey anticipates the development portion of the project to start in the spring of next year.
A long wait
The Spaniard’s Bay site was first announced in July 2010, although the preliminary off-site work had been ongoing for two years prior to that.
It did not take long for the clearing of the forested area near the intersection of Veterans Highway (Route 70) and Route 73, on the Spaniard’s Bay side of the highway.
Then, the town endorsed a plan to borrow up to $3.8 million to install water and sewer infrastructure to the park boundary in September of 2012.
However, the movement on the land is the first since then.
“It’s a good site to invest in,” said Hussey, whose father is from nearby Upper Island Cove.
Hussey called the decision to move in on the project a “no-brainer.”
“It’s the perfect area,” he said.
After completing his own study of the area from an independent standpoint, Hussey said the area passed with flying colours.
“That came in even better than anticipated,” he said. “All things point to it being a good site.”
Hussey said he sees promise in the development.
“I wouldn’t be spending the money I’m spending,” he said.
Brad Roberts has been at the forefront of this project since its inception. He has a boundless energy for it, evident by the passion that comes through in his voice every time he speaks on the subject.
“I’m excited for the region,” said Roberts.
He is excited to bring a big city amenity to the Trinity-Conception-Placentia region.
“I’m so much for my neighbouring communities,” said Roberts. “It’s all about the regional concept. It’s for everyone.”
The Spaniard’s Bay businessman now serves as a consultant on the project.
Roberts meets with potential tenants on behalf of the developer, Karwood. He called Karwood “one of the biggest developers on the island.”
Speaking about Hussey, Roberts said, “everything he touches turns to gold.”
A developer the likes of Karwood is a necessity when tackling a project such as the Veterans Memorial Business Park, he said.
“When you’re doing a big development like the one in CBN, this is what you need. You need the big players to come in and take care of this properly,” said Roberts. “They know the locations and they know what works.”