All of Stelco's Hamilton land was sold in a deal that transformed it into a "world class" industrial park.

All of Stelco’s Hamilton land was sold in a deal that transformed it into a “world class” industrial park.

A $518 million deal to buy all of Stelco’s major waterfront land is poised to transform the former huge steelmaking district into a state-of-the-art industrial park.

In a media statement on Wednesday, Slate Asset Management announced its plans to purchase and convert about 800 acres of industrial land formerly designated for the steel industry into a revitalized commercial district — a development that a study from Ernst & Young said could create up to 23,000 jobs. New injections of $3.8 billion into the Ontario economy.

The deal was signed on Wednesday, according to a press release from Stilco.

In a statement to The Spectator, Stelco spokesperson Trevor Harris confirmed that the sale includes all of Stelco’s land, which is located at 386 Wilcox Street adjacent to the port.

The landmark deal includes an agreement between Slate and Stelco to sell and lease back 75 acres of land for the long-term and two million square feet of building for a period of 35 years, with renewal options for five further 20-year terms.

The remaining land – estimated at 725 acres – is slated to be developed into a “highly desirable” industrial area.

While it’s not clear exactly what the site plans will look like, Slate co-founder Brady Welch told The Spectator that the planned industrial area could “attract many different types of uses” as it is laid out for those using intermodal transportation.

The land has approximately three kilometers of deep water port access, and there are rail lines, highways nearby, and a few international airports within a short drive of the site.

However, he noted, it could be ideal for light industrial companies dealing in areas such as manufacturing and distribution.

“It’s going to be attractive to both local and global companies that need to move the product,” Brady Welch said. “I can’t think of a lot of other locations, even globally, where today you can have 800 acres of continuous, zonal industrial land.”

Initial estimates from the company show that it could construct up to 12 million square feet (or about 275 acres) of industrial buildings on the property.

It’s a transformation that’s expected to take up to a decade to fully pay off, said Blair Welch, co-founder of Slate.

As part of the deal, the company announced that it plans to invest in both “environmental protection and site repair.”

Blair Welch said the repair process has already begun, with some facilities on the site already demolished, and will continue “for some time” as the project progresses.

He said the company is working with both municipal and local government to ensure that “800 acres of land are clean and safe for workers and 3,400 meters of waterfront along Lake Ontario are revitalized,” according to the statement.

The transformation also includes the transfer of all of Stelco’s remaining operations in Hamilton to the leased portion of the land. This part of the project is expected to take about five years.

Blair Welch said a master plan for the redevelopment has not been released, but will be created in consultation with both the community as well as local stakeholders. The company could not confirm the date of the next announcement regarding the land.

The two brothers, who grew up in Aldershot and have family and friends in Hamilton, said what would happen at the site could be a “bullet in the arm” for the city.

Jason Thorne, the city’s chief economic development officer, said the sale of underutilized land and redevelopment plans is a “good news story” for Steeltown.

Thorne noted that the proposed plans would see the city’s total serviced industrial land ready for dredging more than double. The estimated number of jobs in the city’s waterfront industrial park will also double if all goes well.

“The scale of this is really big,” Thorne said. “It’s a great opportunity for the city to get these lands back into production.”

In a statement, Mayor Fred Eisenberger said the company’s investment in the city is a “vote of confidence” for the community and its future as a “job center” for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.

“We can’t wait to see these unique and iconic lands transformed into the episodic business location of the future where we will create well-paying jobs, grow the economy, and protect and treat Hamilton’s waterfront for the benefit of all,” said Eisenberger. .

Thorne indicated that one of Slate’s next steps would be to get the site plan approved for the project.



2022-06-01 22:32:00

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