Building in Queens Business Park should soon spill into the second phase of the industrial/commercial subdivision west of Hwy 2.
“The pipes are in the ground,” said Red Deer land and economic development manager John Sennema about development work on the next stage. “We’re going to do the surface work for it this year.”
With only a 4.47-acre industrial lot and about five acres of commercial land remaining in Phase 1, Sennema is eager to see the next quarter of city-owned land on the market.
“My whole goal, based on the economic development strategy that we did, is to have a continuous supply of industrial land,” he said. “That’s one of the biggest things we can do to facilitate economic growth.”
Although its above-ground infrastructure has still to be completed, Queens’ second phase is attracting strong interest.
“We’ve got folks coming in the door every day,” said Sennema.
The 97 developable acres includes 40.4 acres of light industrial, 36.07 acres of eco-industrial, 15.82 acres of heavy industrial and 4.75 acres of commercial land.
“We already have pending sales for our light industrial land of 26 acres,” said Sennema. “Our heavy industrial we have about 2 1/2 acres, and our light eco-industrial we have about four or five acres already pending.”
The eco-industrial lands are intended to promote things like energy-efficient building design, pedestrian movement, stormwater conservation and community amenities, said Sennema. Businesses there might also collaborate in the efficient use of each other’s by-products, he added, with the potential for the city to facilitate such partnerships.
Specific development guidelines for the eco-industrial area have yet to be finalized, said Sennema, but he hopes a proposal will be presented to city council this spring.
The requirements shouldn’t be too onerous, he said.
“I think a lot of companies are doing this stuff already, when it comes to water conservation, and reduction in waste materials and things like that. What we’re trying to do is encourage that kind of behaviour.”
Ultimately, said Sennema, being in the Queens eco-industrial area could enhance the image of companies.
Meanwhile, work has begun on an industrial area structure plan for two quarters of city land that will make up the next phases of Queens Business Park.
“I think the IASP will be completed probably this summer or fall,” said Sennema. “Then we have to do the servicing study.”
Although demand for commercial lots in Queens Business Park has not been strong, he expects this will change as the industrial build-out proceeds.
“That’s pretty typical, even in residential development.”
Two quarter sections of privately owned land south of Queens Business Park are also being developed.