The Onni Group is about halfway finished building the Golden Ears Business Park.
The 200-acre light industrial park in Pitt Meadows will provide an estimated four million square feet of light industrial build-able area.
Onni has estimated the business park, once fully built out, will create an estimated 5,000 jobs and the city will collect an estimated $6.4 million in taxes.
Once built, it will be the largest singularly owned business park in Canada. Onni puts up the tilt-up concrete buildings, and leases the space. Although it is tilt-up concrete, Pitt Meadows city council has put high standards on the look of the development, saying it wants the development to appear more like a campus than a warehouse complex.
Onni is going to meet rigorous design standards in phases three and four.
The first two phases have been built along Airport Way in the South Bonson neighbourhood. Phase one is entirely leased, and phase two is almost entirely full. According to Onni, parts of phase three is anticipated to be ready for lease for the first quarter of 2021. There is heavy equipment on site now, doing preparation.
There is still about 160,000 square feet left to lease in phase two.
The business park is attracting a lot of employment to the city, said leasing agent Ryan Kerr of Avison Young. There are numerous businesses which any city would be happy to attract to their community.
He points to Olympia Tile International, Natural Factors, Maxilite Manufacturing LTD which deals in LED lighting, Keystone Automotive deals in auto parts and Euro-Rite Cabinets deals in kitchen and bathroom cabinets as examples of the types of businesses that have been attracted to Pitt Meadows.
Kerr said these companies offer family supporting jobs, and they are hiring locals.
“A big draw to the park is the employment base that lives in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows,” he said. “And also the housing costs are far more palatable for employees to live near the park.”
In addition to the employment and tax base, council will receive an amenity contribution of almost 11 acres to be used for a sports field project with an eight-lane running track, two fields with viewing areas.
In addition to the light industrial tenants, city council made changes in its land use bylaws to allow for a restaurant, child care, microbrewery, pet daycare and other commercial services.