Icing on the cake
Major development coming to Spaniard’s Bay
After two years of negotiations, Spaniard’s Bay has inked a deal with a local developer to proceed with a major commercial development off Veterans Memorial Highway.
The town has agreed to provide water and sewer services to the site, located just east of the highway, north of the New Harbour Road.
Brad Roberts Development Inc. of Spaniard’s Bay will develop the site to be known as Veterans Park.
Kent Building Supplies and Tim Hortons are the first major chains to make commitments to set up shop in the 40-plus acre site.
While the commercial park will be located within the town boundaries of Spaniard’s Bay, which will benefit directly from the new source of commercial tax revenue, spin-off from the development is expected to benefit the entire region.
Describing it as a “major, major development,” Mayor John Drover said, “we are very excited to witness the economic prosperity and opportunity this project will offer the entire Conception Bay North and Trinity South area.”
Pointing out the development will create “ hundreds of jobs,” the mayor noted, “ millions of dollars will be pumped into our regional economy.”
Council does not own the land where the development is taking place, but because it lies within its municipal boundaries, the town does have to approve the development, which it has already done.
Drover said the provincial cabinet has approved the sale of the crown land to the developer, and last year council rezoned the area from rural to commercial to pave the way for the project to proceed.
Asked how access would be provided to the site from Veterans Memorial, Drover said an underpass will be constructed in the area connecting the highway with a road, which will take traffic to and from the site. He said the underpass has also been approved by government and design and engineering work is already underway.
The first step will be the clearing of land in the area, and Drover expects a groundbreaking ceremony to take place sometime this fall.
“ The development has already secured letters of intent from major chain stores,” Drover said, adding, “ with over 200 acres available, we have room for everyone.” He was referring to the fact that besides the commercial park, the site is large enough to accommodate industrial and residential development, which he fully expects will be attracted to the site.
Comparing it to developments like Kelsey Drive off Kenmount Road in St. John’s, the mayor said, “ negotiations are currently underway with major box store tenants, grocery store chains and specialty outlets.
When the Veterans Memorial Highway was under construction in the 1990s, Spaniard’s Bay was among the Conception Bay North towns that had concerns the highway would bypass their town, taking traffic and business with it. But the highway has actually had the reverse effect and in the first decade of the 21st century, the town has been enjoying prosperity.
This latest development is just icing on the cake.