A $ 518 million deal to buy all of the first-class land on the Stelco waterfront is set to transform a large area of the former steelworks into a “state-of-the-art” industrial park.
In Wednesday’s press release, Slate Asset Management announced plans to purchase and convert approximately 800 acres of industrial land once dedicated to steel production into a revitalized business district – a project that, according to a study by Ernst & Young, could create up to 23,000 new jobs. and invest $ 3.8 billion in the Ontario economy.
According to a press release from Stelco, the agreement was concluded on Wednesday.
In a statement to The Spectator, Stelco spokesman Trevor Harris confirmed that the sale includes all of Stelco’s land, which lies at 386 Wilcox St. at the port.
The historic transaction involves an agreement between Slate and Stelco to sell and lease back 75 acres of land and two million square feet of buildings for 35 years, with the possibility of restoration for another five 20-year periods.
The remaining land – an estimated 725 acres – is to be developed into “much-needed” industrial space.
While it is not clear exactly what the site’s plans will look like, Brady Welch, Slate’s founding partner, told The Spectator that the planned industrial park could “attract many different uses” because it is located for those using intermodal transport.
The land has approximately three kilometers of deep port access, there are railways and highways nearby and there are several international airports within driving distance of the place.
However, he noted that this could be ideal for light industry companies that deal with areas such as manufacturing and distribution.
“It would be attractive to both local and global businesses that need to move the product,” said Brady Welch. “I can’t think of too many other places, even globally, where you can get 800 acres of continuous industrial land with zones today.”
Preliminary estimates from the company show that they could build up to 12 million square feet (or about 275 acres) of industrial buildings on the site.
It’s a transformation that is expected to take up to ten years to take full effect, said Blair Welch, Slate’s founding partner.
As part of the transaction, the company announced that it plans to invest in both “environmental protection and site remediation”.
Mr Blair Welch said the remediation process had already begun, with some facilities on site already demolished and will continue for some time as the project continued.
He said the company was working with both the city and provincial governments to ensure that “800 acres of land would be clean and safe for workers and that 3,400 feet of waterfront along Lake Ontario would be reactivated,” the report said.
The transformation also includes Stelco moving all of its remaining operations in Hamilton to the leased portion of the land. This part of the project is expected to last approximately five years.
The master redevelopment plan has yet to be published, but will instead be developed in consultation with the community and local stakeholders, Blair Welch said. The company could not confirm when the next land notification would be made.
But what is to happen on the spot could be a “shot in the hand” for the city, said the brothers, who grew up in Aldershot and have family and friends in Hamilton.
Jason Thorne, the city’s head of economic development, said the sale of unused land and redevelopment plans were “good news” for Steeltown.
Thorne noted that the proposed plans would allow the city a sum of serviced industrial land ready for a shovel, which would be more than doubled available in the city. The estimated number of jobs in the industrial area on the city’s waterfront would also double if everything went according to plan.
“The scale is really significant,” Thorne said. “It’s a great opportunity for the city to get these lands back in production.”
Mayor Fred Eisenberger said in a statement that the company’s investment in the city is a “voice of trust” for the community and its future as “employment centers” for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.
“We can’t wait to turn these unique and iconic countries into exemplary workplaces of the future, where we create well-paid jobs, grow the economy and protect and renovate Hamilton’s waterfront for the benefit of all,” said Eisenberger. .
Thorne noted that one of the next steps for Slate would be to obtain approval of a site plan for the project.
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