On the move at Netook

A Calgary income fund with strong Red Deer connections has acquired a business park development east of Olds.

A Calgary income fund with strong Red Deer connections has acquired a business park development east of Olds.

Proventure Income Fund (TSXV: PVT.UN) has purchased about 100 acres of Netook Crossing Business Park southwest of the intersection of highways 2 and 27.

Proventure, which owns property in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, is related to Calgary-based Cervus Equipment Corp. (TSXV: CVL). Cervus operates John Deere, Bobcat and JCB dealerships across the Prairie provinces, and leases property from Proventure.

Red Deer resident Peter Lacey is CEO of Proventure and Cervus.

The Netook Crossing Business Park deal, which closed at the beginning of March, resulted in about 100 acres being transferred to Proventure by developer OPUS Building Canada Inc., said Terry Johnston, a development consultant working with Proventure.

Netook Crossing Business Park consists of about 123 saleable acres of land, some of which was previously sold to developers. Buyers have included Olds Co-operative Ltd., which has built a cardlock fuel station on its lot; Olds RV Inc., which will operate a full-service recreational vehicle dealership there; Canada West Self Storage; Richardson Brothers (Olds) Ltd.; and other investors.

“OPUS is a downtown-Calgary-based developer and they’ve decided to focus on some more urban projects, which was the reason for the sale,” said Johnstone.

Proventure actually sold the land to OPUS about five years ago, and owns another quarter section further west.

“It made some sense for them to consolidate and control all of it,” said Johnstone.

He said Proventure’s western parcel is earmarked for modular housing, light industrial and highway commercial development in Mountain View County’s Netook Crossing area structure plan.

“We’ll be advancing that permitting process here in the relatively near future.”

The Netook Crossing area structure plan covers some 4,000 acres and contemplates commercial, industrial and residential development.

Earlier this month, Mountain View County approved the Netook Crossing North concept plan for 565 acres north of Hwy 27. More than 140 acres of that area, along highways 2 and 27, will become Netook Crossing North Business Park. It is being developed by Neuroese Properties of Calgary.

Johnstone thinks this second nearby business park could stimulate sales at Proventure’s Netook Crossing Business Park.

“It will add critical mass to the location.”

He added that Netook Crossing Business Park should be largely sold before lots in the adjacent business park become available.

Demand for industrial and commercial land has been hurt by the economic downturn, but Johnstone is optimistic the situation is changing. He notes that traffic to listing agent Ralph Salomons Commercial Inc.’s website is up sharply in recent months.

“I would say that our inquiries from November/December to March increased three-fold.

“There’s certainly more activity and more people looking.”