Busi­ness park set­back

Bay Roberts, Loblaws part ways; town look­ing at pro­pos­als


The big­gest gro­cery chain in Canada and the Town of Bay Roberts have ended a part­ner­ship to de­velop a pro­posed busi­ness park in the town.

Loblaws Properties Limited, which op­er­ates the Do­min­ion store on Con­cep­tion Bay High­way, had orig­i­nally signed a let­ter of in­tent on May 14, 2012.

With that let­ter of in­tent came a set of obli­ga­tions for both par­ties and over the next year, each at­tempted to ful­fill each pa­ram­e­ter of the agree­ment.

How­ever, on April 5, Bay Roberts con­tacted Loblaws, in­quir­ing where the Cana­dian gro­cery gi­ant stood on the agree­ment.

Cor­re­spon­dence went back and forth un­til both par­ties agreed that it would be best to go their sep­a­rate ways.

“We came to the point where we weren’t go­ing to ful­fill the obli­ga­tions of the agree­ment and they agreed that they wouldn’t be able to meet our time­frames,” said chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Nigel Black.

With that, Bay Roberts moved for­ward on ac­cept­ing new pro­pos­als for the de­vel­op­ment of the roughly 60 acres, and is lo­cated just off L. T. Stick Drive, near Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial High­way.

Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood said the town was “dis­ap­pointed” that the two could not see the pro­ject through.

“We had been hop­ing to get some­thing done and mov­ing faster,” he said. “This pro­ject has been go­ing now for 10 years.”

Al­though Loblaw no longer has in­ter­est in de­vel­op­ing a busi­ness park, Wood said they have in­di­cated their in­ter­est in Bay Roberts.

“(Loblaw) ex­plained to us that their pri­or­ity is to se­cure land and to con­struct a new build­ing,” he ex­plained. “They re­mained com­mit­ted to Bay Roberts and are fo­cused on that goal.”

Busi­ness park com­mit­tee

Bay Roberts is cur­rently go­ing over mul­ti­ple pro­pos­als for the site. To han­dle the new pro­pos­als, Bay Roberts es­tab­lished a busi­ness park com­mit­tee.

This new com­mit­tee is chaired by the town’s di­rec­tor of tourism and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, Ron De­laney, and is also com­prised of Wood, Black, Coun. Ger­ald Green­land and Sean Elms, the di­rec­tor of pub­lic works.

This com­mit­tee al­lows for a va­ri­ety of opin­ions and view­points to be heard on each pro­posal.

“It’s im­por­tant to look at all the an­gles,” said Wood.

To date, the town is en­cour­aged by the num­ber of pro­pos­als it has re­ceived since part­ing with Loblaw. The mayor said a de­ci­sion could be made on the new de­vel­oper in a cou­ple of weeks, but could not give an ex­act date.

Once the new de­vel­oper is in place, Wood is hop­ing to “get things go­ing as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

Spa­niard’s Bay progress

Mean­while, the Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial Busi­ness Park in Til­ton, Spa­niard’s Bay ap­pears to be in limbo.

How­ever, Robert Lun­dri­gan, spokesman for the pro­posed busi­ness park, said work is still go­ing on be­hind the scenes.

“We’re still pro­ceed­ing with a num­ber of plans,” he said. “We’re deal­ing with some ma­jor com­pa­nies and we’re not in po­si­tion … to of­fer some­thing at this time, though we hope to fairly soon.

“How­ever, things are still look­ing good and we’re absolutely con­fi­dent it is a go.”

When asked if the pub­lic might see some ac­tiv­ity at the site in 2013, Lun­dri­gan replied: “I can’t com­mit to that, but I’m op­ti­mistic.”

THE COM­PASS Com­pass file photo

Loblaws Properties Inc. and the Town of Bay Roberts have parted ways on an agree­ment that would have seen Loblaws de­vleop the 60-acres shown here into a busi­ness park. The town is cur­rently go­ing over pro­pos­als and ex­pect to make a de­ci­sion in the com­ing weeks.

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