Land on Yates Street sells faster than green grass sells through a goose

Since the city turned to the private sector last year to market its industrial land, deals have been concluded to sell 31 acres, leaving only 13 acres left for sale.

There is not much industrial land left in Sault Ste. Marie, and what’s left is quickly picked up.

City Council members tonight approved the sale of a 13.1-acre property on Yates Street to PUC Transmission for $1.1 million for the distribution station needed to power Algoma Steel’s still-under-construction electric arc furnaces (EAFs).

In a second deal approved, the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Great Lakes Fisheries Commission will purchase a 6.7-acre parcel of city-owned industrial land in Yates for $334,500.

Councilors then voted to begin an environmental assessment on the proposed stretch of road aimed at opening up more industrial land at Wood Park Court, two kilometers west of Yates Street.

Since James Caico has been retained at Century 21 Choice Realty Inc. One year prior to marketing the city’s industrial property, other sales or pending/conditional sales were made to Steel Speed, Vector Freight Systems and Trimount Construction Group.

On Yates Street, 31 acres of industrial land have been sold or sold on conditions, with only 13 acres remaining.

“There’s a real benefit to marketing this outside of our city, through real estate methods,” Caico says. SooToday.

“But you also have to get the Economic Development Corporation and the city credit. We’re working as a team on that.”

Caico gives special credit to Rick Van Staveren, the city’s economic development director.

“I really appreciated him because when he took office, he saw that this land had been there since they developed it, and he thought it should be marketed.”

“Since then, we’ve had great luck with it. What EDC was offering before it listed was below the price now, and they still haven’t been able to get any activity.”

“We seem to be getting a healthy mix. About 50 percent of our interest is local and 50 percent is from out of town,” Caico said.

The Yates Avenue PUC relocation site was chosen because of its proximity to Algoma Steel.

“The station will span the Yates Avenue property requested for purchase as well as a portion of the existing property owned by Algoma Steel,” Van Staveren said in a report prepared for Mayor Shoemaker and council members.

“Due to the location of the transfer station and the current uses of the adjacent property owned by Algoma Steel, this configuration is required. This transfer station will be an integral part of the infrastructure supporting the Algoma Steel EAF project and will support future growth opportunities in the city,” he said.

The Great Lakes Fisheries Commission originally talked to the city about building two buildings on Yates Street.

One was supposed to be a 20,000-square-foot warehouse for chemicals and equipment used to control sea lampreys.

In his report to the City Council last week, Van Staveren said the second building “will accommodate 50 to 70 employees” and “will create 50 to 75 new skilled jobs.”

However, a last-minute update from Van Staveren on Monday told a different story.

“No office buildings are proposed to be built at this stage,” he said.

“The warehouse building will support existing Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) staff currently working in Sault Ste. Marie. DFO staff are contracted by the Great Lakes Commission to undertake sea lamprey monitoring on behalf of the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission.”

“No new employees will be added at this stage,” Van Staveren said in his updated report.

Near the Arauco wood products factory on the Base Line, Wood Park Court reportedly has up to 60 acres of developable land, but about a third of those properties near the waterfront have zoning restrictions, wetlands and water-related issues.

“The property is bordered by Leighs Bay Road to the west which is an unserviced gravel road, and Wood Park Court is located near the center of the property which is a 175m serviced paved access road,” Van Staveren said.

“To maximize the number of salable acres, Wood Park Court should be extended approximately 400 meters south.”

“City staff currently have interest from supporters in the Wood Park Court property, and with the recent land sales on Yates Street, additional industrial land is needed to continue business growth and expansion.”

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