No tenants yet for Cleantech Commons
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.
An architect’s render of the new Noblegen facility which is planned for Cleantech Commons.