Blue Buoy Foods is continuing with business as usual at its production facility in St. John’s, although people may notice some activity around a trademark blue-coloured building off Kenmount Road beside the company’s similarly blue-coloured production centre.
A producer of products including traditional salt beef, Blue Buoy Foods has sold off a piece of its highly-visible property just off the main city thoroughfare to Redwood Management, part of the Redwood Group, including the commercial contractors Redwood Construction.
Gordon Howell, owner of Redwood Construction, said the future of the purchased piece of property at 292 Kenmount Rd. will become clearer throughout the summer construction season, with the emergence of a new retail and office building at the site, reaching to 300 Kenmount Rd.
“We’ve also acquired the property immediately west of (Blue Buoy Foods), which was formerly owned by Sunshine Dairy most recently, and we’re combining the two properties together to a new development of office, retail, strip mall,” he said.
The development plan will provide for about 30,000 square feet of new retail space and approximately 12,000 square feet of office space for lease.
Howell said the company hopes to be ready for occupancy by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Blue Buoy Foods is continuing to operate at its main production facility. It stands beside what will become the new retail space, just further back from the road.
“It was pretty much just getting rid of excess property we had no use for,” Ken Bursey of Blue Buoy Foods said when asked about the property sale.
“It was just a cold storage facility that we had there for years,” he said, adding the building had been rented for a time. “Someone came along and wanted (the property) and my tenant moved out a couple of years ago.”
According to public records, the deal was valued at about $1.8 million.
Blue Buoy Foods has been in the news in recent years in relation to a proposal in April 2011 by Labrador Coastal Equipment Ltd. to build a 45.7-metre, 225-kW wind turbine for the Kenmount Road area, providing power to the company for its operations.
The idea was put to the company by Gerry Skinner, president of Labrador Coastal Equipment Ltd. The proposal went to St. John’s city council, but was rejected due to a lack of open space, “fall space,” around the proposed turbine, according to The Telegram archives.
The project prompted pubic discussion of the potential in small, renewable-power projects and, in November 2011, the adoption of regulations governing the construction of wind turbines within city limits.