FERGUS – Industrial lots in the North Fergus Business Park will go for $450,000 per acre.
That’s competitive pricing, Centre Wellington’s manager of economic development George Borovilos told council on Aug. 28.
Industrial land is in high demand, he said, and land sales should not only cover the cost of purchasing and servicing the land, but eventually fund a reserve for future expansion.
Borovilos said township officials arrived at the price by looking at industrial land values in neighbouring municipalities, at land values along transportation routes like Highway 6 and the 401 corridor, and at appraisals by the Antec Group.
Consideration was given to the following criteria to establish the price per acre:
- type and quality of land;
- level and type of servicing to the land;
- proximity to transportation routes;
- the potential and need for job creation in the township;
- potential for increase of the property tax base; and
- value of industrial land in nearby municipalities.
Land values ranged from $250,000 an acre in Listowel to more than $900,000 an acre in municipalities like Cambridge and London, according to the report.
“The average is $445,000 an acre,” Borovilos said. “$450,000 is about average.”
Councillor Bronwynne Wilton wanted to know how the significant wetland on the property would be protected.
Dickson Drive will be extended to 1st Line and there are some protected features on the property, which used to be farmland.
Borovilos said setback requirements will ensure the wetland and the pond are protected.
Council had questions about the type of businesses that would be able to operate there.
Managing director of planning and development Brett Salmon said the land is zoned industrial but specific uses have not yet been identified.
“We will take each application through a letter of intent,” Borovilos added.
“Job creation gets a high grading. These are employment lands – that’s our goal.”
Borovilos will return to council in January with an update on land values, but for now council approved the land value of $450,000 an acre.
As for next steps, road construction, servicing and lot design is on track for completion by early this fall.
A land sales process is in place for handling inquiries, submitting letters of intent and preparing the agreements of purchase of sale.
And a business park handbook has been drafted, which will help clients through the site plan and building permit application stages.
In his report, Borovilos said offers to purchase will be accepted starting in September, in order of priority based on an evaluation matrix.