Work con­tin­u­ing at Spa­niard’s Bay busi­ness park

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

There’s new life for a pro­posed busi­ness park that had been dor­mant in Spa­niard’s Bay for many months.

It’s been two weeks since heavy equip­ment re­turned to the site of the Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial Busi­ness Park, lo­cated in the com­mu­nity of Til­ton.

The 240- acre de­vel­op­ment has been de­scribed as a power cen­tre sim­i­lar to Kelsey Drive in St. John’s.

The re­turn of equip­ment to the site co­in­cides with the in­volve­ment of Par­adise-based Kar­wood Realty.

The New­found­land realty gi­ant took over de­vel­op­ment of the project last month, al­though the pur­chase price is not known.

Wast­ing no time, Kar­wood set about com­plet­ing its first or­der of busi­ness — shift­ing the cur­rent power grid.

The com­pany is in the midst of dig­ging a trench with plans of mov­ing the power lines that run on the edge of the de­vel­op­ment.

Once that has fin­ished, the com­pany will move into its plan­ning phase for the project.

“We’re work­ing on some ex­ca­va­tion on where the power lines have to be and what kind of fill ar­eas have to be done and get that in line so we can get our engineering fig­ured out,” said Kar­wood owner Hu­bert Hussey. “We’re go­ing to do the same thing test­ing where our wa­ter lines go.”

Once this pre­lim­i­nary work is done the next step will be to lay out a blast­ing sched­ule.

Hussey an­tic­i­pates the de­vel­op­ment por­tion of the project to start in the spring of next year.

A long wait

The Spa­niard’s Bay site was first an­nounced in July 2010, al­though the pre­lim­i­nary off-site work had been on­go­ing for two years prior to that.

It did not take long for the clear­ing of the forested area near the in­ter­sec­tion of Vet­er­ans High­way (Route 70) and Route 73, on the Spa­niard’s Bay side of the high­way.

“When you’re do­ing a big de­vel­op­ment like the one in CBN, this is what you need. You need the big play­ers to come in and take care of this prop­erly.”

— Brad Roberts

Then, the town en­dorsed a plan to bor­row up to $3.8 mil­lion to in­stall wa­ter and sewer in­fra­struc­ture to the park bound­ary in Septem­ber of 2012.

How­ever, the move­ment on the land is the first since then.

“It’s a good site to in­vest in,” said Hussey, whose fa­ther is from nearby Up­per Is­land Cove.

Promis­ing site

Hussey called the de­ci­sion to move in on the project a “no­brainer.” “It’s the per­fect area,” he said. Af­ter com­plet­ing his own study of the area from an in­de­pen­dent stand­point, Hussey said the area passed with f ly­ing colours.

“That came in even bet­ter than an­tic­i­pated,” he said. “All things point to it be­ing a good site.”

Hussey said he sees prom­ise in the de­vel­op­ment.

“I wouldn’t be spend­ing the money I’m spend­ing,” he said.

Brad Roberts has been at the fore­front of this project since its in­cep­tion.

He has a bound­less en­ergy for it, ev­i­dent by the pas­sion that comes through in his voice ev­ery time he speaks on the sub­ject.

“I’m ex­cited for the re­gion,” said Roberts.

He is ex­cited to bring a big city amenity to the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia re­gion.

“I’m so much for my neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties,” said Robert s . “It’s all about the re­gional con­cept. It’s for ev­ery­one.”

The Spa­niard’s Bay busi­ness­man now serves as a con­sul­tant on the project.

Roberts meets with po­ten­tial ten­ants on be­half of the de­vel­oper, Kar­wood.

He called Kar­wood “one of the big­gest de­vel­op­ers on the is­land.”

Speak­ing of Hussey, Roberts said, “ev­ery­thing he touches turns to gold.”

A de­vel­oper the likes of Kar­wood is a ne­ces­sity when tack­ling a project such as the Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial Busi­ness Park.

“When you’re do­ing a big de­vel­op­ment like the one in CBN, this is what you need. You need the big play­ers to come in and take care of this prop­erly,” said Roberts. “They know the lo­ca­tions and they know what works.”

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

This site trailer ap­peared on the site of the Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial Busi­ness Park two weeks ago. Be­long­ing to Kar­wood Realty, the ar­rival of the trailer sig­nalled the con­tin­u­a­tion of work on the de­vel­op­ment.

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