MINTO – Town council received an update on site plan approval for an industrial condominium project on March 21.
The town’s planning department has approved a site plan for the complex in the Palmerston Industrial Park, to be known as Kridak Palmerston Business Junction.
A planning department report notes the name identifies the purpose of the development, while giving a nod to Palmerston’s heritage as a historic railway centre.
The six-acre parcel, at 200 Minto Road, was purchased from the town by Kridak Developments in December 2021 and site plan control was applied for in 2022.
“The development of this site has been in front of council several times over the past year and a half, including the initial sales, for a first right of refusal, a development charge deferral agreement and a minor variance,” the report states.
The report notes the site plan approval process falls within the recent Bill 109 changes to the Planning Act, which remove the approval authority from council and delegates it to the director of building and planning services, with the mayor and clerk authorized to enter into the approval agreement with the applicant.
“Staff still feels that it’s … important for council to be made aware officially of significant projects in our municipality,” director of building and planning services Terry Kuipers told council.
“So that’s why this report is being brought forward for your information.”
The site is being developed as an industrial condominium, with common elements (driveways, site services, landscaping, exterior cladding, etc.) owned by the condominium corporation and the individual units held in separate private ownerships.
“This is the first development of this style in the town and allows (ownership of) smaller-sized units that was not previously possible in either of the town’s industrial parks,” due to Minto’s minimum lot coverage requirements, the report points out.
“As this development is different, being it’s a condo as opposed to a rental or solo ownership, the condo agreement itself will dictate what type of uses are permitted in different buildings or locations within the building,” Kuipers explained.
The property will consist of three separate buildings, totalling approximately 150,000 square feet of floor area.
Building one (adjacent to Minto Road) is to be a two-storey, 34,500-square-foot, eight-unit medical professional building with an additional unit being retained by the condominium corporation for its administration office.
“The units within this building are to be occupied by either medical professionals or medical-related services,” the report states.
Building two is a one-storey 51,250-square-foot building, with 12 business office units and 10 industrial workshop units.
Building three is a one-storey, 64,000-square-foot, four-unit warehouse building, with each unit having its own truck loading dock.
Kuipers told council the condominium agreement will limit ownership or tenancy to the specific uses outlined in the agreement.
“Whereas if it was a rental, it could be an office today and then a fabrication shop tomorrow,” he explained.
“There is no continuity regardless of how the application was originally brought forward to staff and council.”
In order to change utilization of the site, it would require 75 per cent of the condominium board voting in favour of the change.
“So it’s a very tight, legally-binding document that is difficult to change,” said Kuipers.
“The owners are excited about the project and want to get going soon.”
Kridak Developments chief information officer Pankaj Mathur told council 20 of the 35 available units, including all seven medical units, have been pre-sold.
He said a dentist, naturopath and a massage therapist will be among the tenants.
Mathur also told council the developers are looking at a 12- to 15-month time frame to complete all three buildings.
Mayor Dave Turton asked about the potential impact of the development on Minto Road traffic.
“When this building gets filled … when some of the other industries come on site, that that’s going to be a busy little road,” he noted.
“It’s definitely going to add traffic, both to that road as well as the Main Street intersection,” said Kuipers.
However, he added, “As part of the studies required for this development, a traffic impact study was required, and it did take into consideration other buildings under construction currently and previously approved prior to this one and there were no upgrades required at the Main Street intersection.
“So, we have looked into that.”
Town staff and Minto’s consulting engineers, as well as Wellington County’s planning department and Wellington County Source Water Protection unit, “have completed a detailed review of development and are satisfied with the site layout, functionality and appearance of the site,” the report indicates.
“We are very excited about this … Every time we talk about this good news story it gets more exciting,” said Turton, who thanked Kuipers for updating council on the project.
“I think it’s definitely important,” said Kuipers.
“I would hate to be in your shoes walking down the street and someone’s asking you about a significant project on a property that you sold to them and not know what the heck’s going on. So it’s definitely necessary.”
Council received the report as information.