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Economic, Infrastructure

CentrePort’s steady growth expected to continue in 2019

Myron Love
CentrePort’s steady growth expected to continue in 2019

CentrePort Canada, located on the west side of Winnipeg, is North America’s largest inland port, offering 20,000 acres of high-quality, affordable industrial land and unique access to tri-modal transportation.

The site offers easy access to Winnipeg’s James Richardson International Airport — which operates on a 24 hour basis. And, over the past few years, the road system in the area has been considerably upgraded to improve trucking access and more efficient transportation. A new water treatment plant and water servicing has also been put in place within the past year.

The latest stage in the CentrePort Canada’s ongoing growth is the development of a further block of 300 acres. Currently, two major projects are underway — with a third in the planning.

Sam Sidhu’s Whiteland Services has purchased 80 acres in CentrePort North (in the Rural Municipality of Rosser adjoining Winnipeg) and has announced an investment of about $26-million on design-build facilities for prospective tenants.

“Tailleiu Construction has completed the sewer and water lines and is now working on the roads,” Sidhu reports. “We will start building when our development is 70 per cent sold. Nine tenants are ready to build right away.”

While this is the first Winnipeg development for Whiteland, the company has owned property in the area and has undertaken several commercial and industrial developments in Saskatchewan as well as in India before Sidhu and his business partner Amritpal Jhand immigrated to Canada 12 years ago.

The property will be configured into smaller lots with roadways that will be designed to allow easy access for transportation companies with double-trailer rigs. The land is already zoned for general industrial uses, including manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, logistics and transportation-related businesses.

It is located directly north of the 150-acre Brookside Business Park, which is sold out and its northern property line is along the route of the proposed extension of Chief Peguis Trail.

In September, Alberta-based Canada West Ltd. announced major new projects at CentrePort. Canada West, along with a partner, are investing $60 million to build up to eight build-to-suit and build-to-lease buildings on five lots totaling 26 acres within the Brookside Business Park.

Dale Klein, President of Canada West, says they will provide tenants with first class facilities for industrial clients. The new buildings, which will total over 350,000 square feet combined, will feature high-end finishes, landscaped exteriors, and a mix of space for distribution, offices and customer-facing retail/showroom areas.

Site work was scheduled to begin in early November on a 50,000-square-foot building followed closely by a second 52,000-square-foot building started very soon after. Klein estimates that the development will be fully built up within 24 months.

“We are going with Pre-Con Builders,” he reports.

What will stand out about the Canada West facilities, Klein notes, will be the inclusion of a Butler roof system which, he explains, requires fewer support posts.

“Instead of four posts for every 50 feet, our buildings will have one,” he points out. “It is better for logistics and the roofs have a 40-year life span.”

The buildings will have more glass than normal, 32” under deck clearance, grade beams which can be adjusted according to the load and space requirements and the potential to increase the power to support potential future car loads.

The major challenge that Klein identifies in building Canada West’s new project is the increased cost of construction, especially in Winnipeg as compared to Alberta.

“We are seeing a good response from prospective tenants,” Klein says of the project. “There are a lot of new industrial and commercial-use buildings, but not many are being built for individual tenants. It looks to be a very good market.”

The first of Canada West’s 50,000-square foot buildings is expected to be ready for occupancy in June.

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