See photo fea­tures on Pages A12 and B1

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

ham­mered out, but did say it would be “sooner rather than later.”

Coun­cil had no ob­jec­tions to the pro­posal when it was brought up in a priv­i­leged meet­ing on May 8. How­ever, coun­cil did have some con­cerns.

“We don’t want to see it bought and then just sat on,” said Wood.

He said there is a time­line in place for the project and he an­tic­i­pated a deal com­ing to­gether quickly, and then work can be­gin on de­vel­op­ing the prop­erty.

“They’re in­ter­ested in ex­plor­ing fur­ther and we’re op­ti­mistic a final agree­ment can be worked out,” said Wood.

The public will not know the finer points of the pro­posal un­til a final deal has been inked. This was a stip­u­la­tion of the com­pany, said a town of­fi­cial.

Next step

While both par­ties wait un­til the final agree­ments are put to­gether, Bay Roberts must now fo­cus on en­sur­ing the site has water and sewer ser­vices.

“It was our in­tent to go up there with water and sewer all along,” he said.

Once the in­fra­struc­ture has been put into place on the town’s end, and with a final agree­ment in place, work is ex­pected to be­gin shortly there­after.

A town of­fi­cial has es­ti­mated the cost of installing water and sewer to the park’s boundary at be­tween $2 to $3 mil­lion.

Mov­ing for­ward

For Bay Roberts, the pro­posed deal with Loblaw rep­re­sents a “mo­men­tous step for­ward” in the plan to bring a busi­ness park to life.

The idea of a busi­ness park in Bay Roberts harkens back to the coun­cil lead by long­time mayor Wil­bur Sparkes, 10 years ago, and is fi­nally on the verge of be­com­ing a re­al­ity.

“We can fi­nally see the light at the end,” said Wood.

The town sought out de­vel­op­ers for the park be­cause it wanted to “find some­one bet­ter suited to de­velop.

“They know more about de­vel­op­ing land than the town does,” said Wood.

Wood is also con­fi­dent that with a Tier 1 re­tail com­pany in place, more de­vel­op­ers will be en­ticed to come to Bay Roberts rather than other places in Con­cep­tion Bay North, and add their names to the 302 busi­nesses found in the town’s di­rec­tory.

“It shows con­fi­dence in the area,” he said.

In an email to The Com­pass late last week, a Loblaw spokesper­son said there were “no im­me­di­ate plans” for the site, and the com­pany would be dis­clos­ing more de­tails “at an ap­pro­pri­ate time.”

It’s not known how the cor­po­ra­tion’s in­ter­est in the busi­ness park will im­pact the Do­min­ion gro­cery store on the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way in Bay Roberts.

It has long been spec­u­lated that a Do­min­ion Su­per­store would be a cen­tre­piece for the busi­ness park.

Mean­while, it’s the lat­est pos­i­tive step in ef­forts to broaden the re­gion’s busi­ness base. Just four kilo­me­tres away in Til­ton, pro­po­nents of the Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial Busi­ness Park an­nounced last month that some $45 mil­lion would be spent this year de­vel­op­ing the 200-plus acre site.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

THE COM­PASS Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

Loblaw Prop­er­ties Limited, the par­ent com­pany for Do­min­ion stores like this one in Bay Roberts, have a ten­ta­tive deal in place to pur­chase 60 acres of land in­tended for a busi­ness park near the CB Ac­cess Road.

Com­pass file photo by Terry Roberts

The planned site of the Bay Roberts busi­ness park.

Com­pass file photo

Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood feels like the pro­posed deal with Loblaw is a “mo­men­tus step for­ward” in the town’s plan to see a busi­ness park brought to life.

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