Approval this week by Wellesley council paves the way for a new 50,000-square-foot industrial building to be constructed on a vacant parcel of land in Hawkesville.
Currently owned by B.G. Frey Collectibles, the 7.6-acre lot at the southeast corner of Herrgott Road and Geddes Street is to be sold to AMI Attachments, a Floradale-based manufacturer and marketer of construction equipment attachments.
Along with work on the site, the agreement endorsed September 16 calls for the widening of Geddes Street from the intersection of Herrgott Road to the proposed new driveway of the facility.
In speaking of a staff report recommending site plan approval, planner Steven Wever of GSP Group said the project slated for the property is in keeping with the township’s employment land strategy which identifies the site as a prime location for future industrial development.
“You approved amendments to your official plan to bring this into the Hawkesville settlement area and to zone it for industrial development,” he reminded councillors.
Council also recently approved another bylaw to lift the holding provision from the property based on the findings of a noise study that was undertaken for the proposed industrial development, he added. AMI filed a site plan approval application in May and have been working with township staff and the region through the summer to get the design of the site figured out, get the access layout figured out, and to determine how the site will be serviced.
“The initial proposal was to facilitate all access to the property from Herrgott Road,” Wever said. “They determined based on the sightline measurements, the speed study, and their standards for entrances that a truck turning movement could not be accommodated in this location based on the current speed limit, and directed that all access for trucks would have to be from Geddes Street.”
From there the current condition of Geddes Street was reviewed, including whether the turning movement was safe at Herrgott Road and Geddes Street, whether the pavement was adequate to support that truckload, whether a turn on the driveway could be negotiated and if any upgrades would be required.
“There are some upgrades required, not just for the AMI development, but to bring it up to current standards,” Wever said.
The upgrades would include widening both sides of the road, work to the ditches, and improvements to round the corner at the southeast corner to make it easier for trucks to come around it.
“We believe there are benefits not only to the AMI site, but to other people using this intersection,” Wever said. “Over time there are properties that will benefit from that improved access. We’re seeking some consideration of a contribution to the cost, or a township reimbursement if the cost would warrant AMI to actually tender the work and get it constructed. Or whether township forces could construct the work themselves and save some money that way.”
The cost of the road improvements is estimated at $32,000.
Bert Frey of B.G. Frey Collectibles said getting this expansion started has been a “red tape nightmare,” with considerable frustration along the way.
“I think there’s a lot of benefit to the community, to the township, to the region and even to beyond to develop this property in the way it’s been proposed,” Frey said. “It’ll be a benefit to the community in creating job opportunities and that has impact on property values and far reaching benefits to the community at large.”
AMI Attachments was created in 2001 by Steve Frey and now employs more than 70 people. The company also has a location in Saskatchewan. It hopes to have the expansion built this winter to be operational by spring of 2015.