Spa­niard's stage a coup

The Compass - - OPINION -

Talk of a sprawl­ing new busi­ness park in­side the mu­nic­i­pal bound­aries of the Town of Spa­niard's Bay has been on­go­ing for many months. But on Fri­day, it be­came more than talk when the town is­sued a news re­lease, stat­ing that the park would be­come a re­al­ity and that two fa­mil­iar names — Kent Home Im­prove­ment and Tim Hor­tons — were among the first to com­mit to es­tab­lish­ing lo­ca­tions.

Town of­fi­cials, Mayor John Drover in par­tic­u­lar, are ob­vi­ously over­joyed that the devel­op­ment now seems likely to pro­ceed. And why wouldn't they. It will mean mil­lions in spend­ing dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase, lu­cra­tive new busi­ness tax rev­enue for the town's cof­fers, and, prob­a­bly more im­por­tantly, hun­dreds of jobs. Not bad for a com­mu­nity of just over 2,500. To say this is a coup for Spa­niard's Bay would be an un­der­state­ment. For years, the towns of Bay Roberts and Car­bon­ear have com­peted in­tensely for busi­ness in­vest­ment in the re­gion, with both sides hav­ing their share of suc­cesses. But in this case, quiet lit­tle Spa­niard's Bay, sand­wiched be­tween the two, seems to have landed what may turn out to be the crown jewel. And if other ex­am­ples of these "Big Box" busi­ness parks, also known as power cen­tres, are any in­di­ca­tion, it's likely that busi­nesses al­ready es­tab­lished in Bay Roberts and Car­bon­ear will mi­grate to this new site just off Vet­eran's Me­mo­rial High­way, near the road to New Har­bour.

Mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers in Bay Roberts and Car­bon­ear are likely un­easy about what this might mean for their busi­ness base. The true im­pact, how­ever, re­mains to be seen.

The big ques­tion now is whether Wal-Mart, which has been an an­chor ten­ant at the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion Square in Car­bon­ear for many years, will be among those set­ting up shop in the new busi­ness park. You can bet the man be­hind the devel­op­ment, Brad Roberts, hopes so.

It's been said that Wal-Mart signed a new long-term lease with the mall sev­eral years ago, but we're talk­ing about the world's largest re­tailer here, and buy­ing out that lease would not be out of the ques­tion.

It wasn't too long ago that com­mu­nity lead­ers in Spa­niard's Bay were be­moan­ing the ar­rival of the Vet­eran's Me­mo­rial High­way, say­ing the by­pass road would mean trou­ble for the com­mu­nity. But it turns out the op­po­site may be the case, and Drover is now ac­knowl­edg­ing this.

So what does all this mean? Pos­si­bly a re­shap­ing of the busi­ness cli­mate in Con­cep­tion Bay North and Trin­ity South. That's all. So yeah, this is very big news. And lead­ers in Spa­niard's Bay are more than happy that this time, it's their town that's in the spot­light.

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