Strathallen is a real estate investment company, and we invest money on behalf of investors who we garner through the pension funds across Canada.
We invest in mainly commercial properties, however we have in the past invested in industrial, as we have in Brantford.
We look for opportunities for ourselves and also for our investors. When we looked at Brantford in 2005, an opportunity came up. Massey Ferguson was in Brantford for many years. It went Bankrupt in the 1988 timeframe at which time the property was purchased by another entity, and when it came up for sale, Strathallen looked at it as a tremendous opportunity to come into Brantford.
Brantford being on the 400 series of highways, it was absolutely a perfect location for potential business for us.
The property was 1,400,000 square feet of space, and all the buildings that were formerly manufacturing buildings were converted into distribution. This is in a perfect location for cross border distribution.
One of the beautiful things about our property; we actually have the opportunity to put rail on the property as well. There is a rail spur that used to be in operation during the Massey Ferguson time, and now we are actually looking at reconstituting that rail spur.
In addition to that, we do have 83 acres of developable land, and we are in the midst right now of developing a plan that will allow us to put out acreage parcels anywhere between 5 acres and up to 45 acres.
We have 2 office buildings on site. One of them is a 25,000 foot office building, and the other is a 15,000 foot office building, and that facility is set up very nicely for a call centre. All of the wiring is in place, all of the electronics are in place.
As far as the taxation goes, as far as the cost of construction, when you add all these things together, Brantford is still a good place to go to build your warehousing needs. It’s very competitive as far as pricing of distribution warehousing in comparison to the GTA.
We have talked to the city at all levels. We are constantly in touch with Economic Development. They do an excellent job in putting our property forward to any opportunity that comes towards Brantford. They are promoting Brantford every day of the week.
The city of Brantford and all people in their departments including Economic Development have always supported anything and everything that comes towards the city and certainly every opportunity there is for our property to be involved in any of the deals, they have made sure that we’re up front and centre.
Brantford is a ‘places to grow’ location.