Construction is set to begin on the long-awaited CentrePort Canada Rail Park in Manitoba early in the new year, says Chris Reiter, the project development manager for Focus Equities, the Victoria, B.C.-based real estate developer that is bringing the park to fruition.
“Our pre-sales have been strong,” he reports. “We expect to sell out by December.”
Established in 2008, the 20,000-acre CentrePort Canada on Winnipeg’s west side, with close access to James Richardson International Airport, is the only inland port in Canada with direct access to trimodal transportation – truck, rail and air cargo – as well as the largest trimodal inland port in North America. CentrePort connects to major national and international trade gateways and corridors.
A joint press release put out last spring by CentrePort Canada, Focus Equities and the Government of Manitoba noted, “the coming 665-acre Rail Park will provide critical stimulus for significant economic growth, trade, business attraction and investment, job creation and increased tax revenues for Manitoba. “
Diane Gray, CentrePort Canada’s founding president and CEO, who recently stepped away from the inland port to pursue other opportunities, observed in the release that “all inland ports have rail at the heart of their developments and the CentrePort Canada Rail Park is the linchpin in realizing the vision for a true trimodal inland port.”
Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson also reported the rail park project is expected to create more than 4,800 direct and indirect jobs and have a significant impact on the province’s GDP.
Ken Mariash, owner of Focus Equities Inc., stated the fact his company was selected to build the rail park speaks to the developer’s track record for providing a full range of development, investment, financing, construction and operation of complex real estate, energy and infrastructure projects across Canada.
Reiter adds the construction process is expected to be straight forward.
“The infrastructure is already in place,” he reports.
Most recently, Manitoba has invested in safety improvements to the Perimeter Highway as a first step towards the Winnipeg One Million Perimeter Freeway Initiative.
Major upgrades are underway, such as the $135 million interchange project at PTH 100 and St. Mary’s Road and preliminary planning for a new diamond interchange at PTH 100 (south Perimeter Highway) and PTH 3.
Reiter notes the contractor chosen to build the rail park is Winnipeg’s Taillieu Construction with Quebec-based WSP Global providing the engineering services.
The project is expected to be built out over a 10-year period.