No ten­ants yet for Clean­tech Com­mons

The Peterborough Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - EX­AM­INER STAFF

The Clean­tech Com­mons re­search park for green and clean tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies has yet to at­tract any new ten­ants, city coun­cil­lors heard Mon­day night.

Coun. Keith Riel asked about the park’s prospects for ten­ants dur­ing a quar­terly pre­sen­ta­tion by Rhonda Keenan, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Peter­bor­ough and the Kawarthas Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment agency.

“There are a num­ber in the pipe­line. Clean­tech Com­mons is still in its de­vel­op­ment stages,” she said, but there is no build­ing up yet for any busi­nesses to lo­cate in.

Plans for the 85-acre busi­ness park on Trent Univer­sity land along Pi­o­neer Road were first an­nounced in 2015, but ser­vic­ing of the land was stalled while the city worked with the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Forestry, the Min­istry of the En­vi­ron­ment, Con­ser­va­tion and Parks and Oton­abee Con­ser­va­tion on en­vi­ron­men­tal

con­sid­er­a­tions for the site, such as stormwa­ter man­age­ment and tree preser­va­tion.

Work on pro­vid­ing the ser­vices re­sumed in Septem­ber and the city ex­pects to com­plete the ser­vic­ing in the fall of 2020. The city is fund­ing the work at a cost es­ti­mated last year at $10.1 mil­lion.

Noble­gen Inc., a startup busi­ness based at Trent Univer­sity’s East Bank Drive labs that makes in­gre­di­ents from al­gae, plans to build a fa­cil­ity at Clean­tech Com­mons and has raised $42.5 mil­lion in pri­vate fi­nanc­ing for ex­pan­sion.

In her re­port to coun­cil, Keenan said the agency has leads on new busi­nesses for the city and county, but the area’s lack of suit­able build­ings and ser­viced land is a prob­lem.

“I can’t help but no­tice op­por­tu­ni­ties lost, land and prod­uct,” Coun. Henry Clarke said in re­view­ing Keenan’s writ­ten pre­sen­ta­tion on the agency’s ef­forts this year to land new busi­nesses.

In one case, a prospec­tive busi­ness needed to lease a 40,000-square-foot build­ing, but noth­ing suit­able was avail­able in Peter­bor­ough, Keenan said.

Clarke said that in the past, the city and the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment agency was able to “put up a new build­ing in a mat­ter of months,” such as when the Amer­iCredit call cen­tre opened in the Ma­jor Ben­nett In­dus­trial Park.

That’s not an op­tion at this time, Keenan said.

“No, we don’t have any­thing in the in­ven­tory that would be even close to that,” she said.

SPE­CIAL TO THE EX­AM­INER

An ar­chi­tect’s ren­der of the new Noble­gen fa­cil­ity which is planned for Clean­tech Com­mons.

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