by DIANE GRAY
At 20,000 acres, CentrePort Canada is North America’s largest trimodal inland port, providing companies with excellent access to a variety of transportation options, fully-serviced industrial land and existing infrastructure that supports future growth. CentrePort Canada lands are located in the R.M. of Rosser and the City of Winnipeg, and this industrial hub has seen significant sales and construction activity over the last three years. With over $300 million worth of development permits issued since 2019, and 1.5 million square feet of new construction either complete or underway, the area is experiencing considerable growth.
One of the most recent projects to be brought to market is the CentrePort Canada Rail Park which is expected to break ground this fall. Earlier this spring, Focus Equities Inc. was announced as the developer of this project. The 665-acre rail-served industrial park is a unique real estate development, offering globally connected businesses with large-volume shipping needs the ability to access, transfer and transport goods between road and rail.
“With global supply-chain issues affecting the industry, there has never been greater demand in North America for a centralized logistics and shipping location for rail, truck and air than now,” said Ken Mariash, owner of Focus Equities Inc., a Canadian developer with vast build-to-suit experience with industrial and Fortune 500 companies, including IKEA, Walmart and Loblaws. “We are already in negotiations with global brands who are interested in choosing our Rail Park land for their transportation infrastructure needs.”
Meanwhile, in CentrePort South, the City of Winnipeg announced that it has allocated $20 million towards the first phase of servicing to install critical infrastructure in the CentrePort lands in west Winnipeg. This funding covers one third of the estimated Phase 1 cost of $60 million and is an excellent first step in bringing services to the area. This infrastructure will enable the development of a new 500 acre residential area, the 260 acre West Side Airport Campus, and other service-oriented industrial development in this part of the city.
Other notable projects include:
• West Creek Industrial Park Under construction at the corner of Red Fife Road and Durum Drive, this two-building, 294,150 SF industrial development is expected to be completed this fall.
• Steele Business Park Phase 1 of this multi-tenant industrial development opened in fall of 2021 and Phase 2 is currently under construction. Tenants include Mercury Specialty Products, Milwaukee Tool and Lennox International.
• 15 Davis Way Situated adjacent to Tim Hortons and Shell Canada, this 10,000 SF office/flex space is under construction in Brookside Business Park. The first tenant confirmed in this new building is South Interlake Planning District.
• BrookPort Business Park Construction continues in all three phases of BrookPort Business Park. Completed buildings include Nutrien, Merit Functional Foods, Ayr Motors, and Whiteland Developers’ multi-tenant space at 39 Eagle Drive.
• 4Tracks Ltd. Construction continues on the new 27,000 SF corporate office and terminal for 4Tracks Ltd. opening fall 2022.
• National Research Council of Canada This $62 million advanced manufacturing research facility will focus on research in additive manufacturing and sustainable packaging.
The inland port continues to draw interest from external markets, particularly as a preferred location for value-added agribusiness production facilities, advanced manufacturing companies, and e-commerce, warehousing and distribution services. With existing transportation infrastructure in place, industrial land available and a special planning area in place to expedite approvals, CentrePort Canada is an ideal location for companies looking for North American locations and it is expected to see significant activity and growth in the years to come.
Diane Gray is Past-President & CEO, CentrePort Canada Inc.